Thursday, July 3, 2008

8x8 - Incipient VoIP Patent Troll or 21st Century Tom Edison?

Tom Keating, among others, speculates about the implications of 8x8's most recent VoIP patent. (Full disclosure: I'm a Packet8 customer).

But speculation about whether 8x8 is preparing to open a new VoIP patent trolling profit center misses a more interesting point -- not to mention the fact that there is nothing in 8x8's history to indicate an interest in trolling for patent infringements. If they were so inclined, it's unlikely they'd need another patent.

What's important about the new patent is the fact of it, what it says about 8x8 as a company -- namely, that they invent things themselves. Now, I know that inventing and building your own "mousetrap" -- or VoIP gateway -- has been out of style for the last decade. But some of us remember when "virtualization" was called "time-sharing."

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