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通話轉接專利訴訟 PAL控告T3等公司所提供電話服務侵權

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科技產業資訊室 (iKnow) - SYL 發表於 2015年7月3日
2015年6月19日,營業處所設在美國佛羅里達州的專利授權公司Patent Asset Licensing, LLC 公司(下稱PAL),向美國佛羅里達州中區聯邦地院提起5起專利侵權告訴,控告在美國佛羅里達州境內有提供電話服務或網路電話(VoIP)服務之網路系統業者、電信業者或有線系統業者等,例如T3 Communications, Inc (下稱T3)、Bright House Networks, LLC、Birch Communications, Inc.等公司,其電話服務提供讓使用者透過網際網路選擇並執行通話轉接之功能,侵害了PAL所擁有之3件專利權利。

本案三件系爭專利原始權利人均為Telemaze LLC,內容如下:
美國專利編號US 7,764,777(’777專利)與US 8,457,113(’113專利),名稱均為「轉接呼叫以及基於呼叫方身分之呼叫路由電話功能(Branch calling and caller ID based call routing telephone features)」,分別於2010年7月27日與2013年6月4日核發。’113專利為’777專利在申請時的連續案(continuation);

美國專利編號US 8,155,298(’298專利),名稱為「在公共交換電話網路中的彙接存取控制器(Tandem access controller within the public switched telephone network)」,於2012年4月10日核發。’298專利為US 7,324,635專利(’635專利)在申請時的連續案,而’777專利則為’635專利在申請時的分割案(division)。

圖一、系爭專利之專利家族關係圖(黃色框內專利為在本案中未被主張權利者,括弧內為個別專利之申請號,所標示日期則為個別專利之申請日)
pclass_11293a_20150703.gif

以PAL控告T3之訴狀為例,PAL在其中主張,T3所提供的電話服務可讓使用者透過網際網路選擇通話功能,藉以讓來電可以被轉到其他話機,例如通話轉接功能(call forwarding)、多機同時響鈴功能(simultaneous ring)等,是至少侵害了’777專利之請求項17。PAL亦主張,T3之電話服務讓使用者可以透過網站執行通話轉接、多機同時響鈴等通話功能,是至少侵害了’’298專利之請求項20。PAL進一步主張,T3之電話服務讓電話通話可以跨越線路交換網路(如PSTN網路)與封包交換網路(如VoIP網路)來完成,是至少侵害了’113之請求項1。

根據PAL網站(http://www.patentassetlicensing.com/)所提供資訊,PAL之主要成員為兩名律師,Victor Siber與Hanna Madbak,而前者曾經擔任IBM公司的首席智財權顧問(Chief Intellectual Property Counsel)。兩人為紐約州執業律師,隸屬在紐約州開業之律師事務所SiberLaw LLP。 (1098字;圖表4)

表一、請求項解析
US 7,764,777  請求項17 US 8,155,298  請求項20
17. A controller connected to a switching facility allowing access to local and other geographic areas within the public switched telephone network (PSTN) comprising:
一種控制器,連接於一交換設備,可在公共交換電話網路(PSTN)中接通在地區域與其他地理區域,包括
20. A method of providing a user interaction system to enable users to control routing of one or more communications between a calling party and a called party through user input, the user interaction system comprising a web server coupled to a controller with access to at least two communication networks, wherein at least one of the networks is a packet network configured to support voice over IP ("VOIP"), and the second network is coupled to a switching facility of a network comprising edge switches for routing calls from and to users within a local geographic area and switching facilities for routing calls to other edge switches or other switching facilities local or in other geographic areas, comprising the steps of.
一種提供使用者互動系統、讓使用者可以透過使用者輸入控制呼叫方與被呼叫方間一或多個通訊路由的方法,該使用者互動系統包括一耦接於一控制器、可存取至少兩個通訊網路的網路伺服器,其中至少一個網路為被配置來支援網路電話(VOIP)的封包網路,而第二個網路則是被耦接到一網路交換設備,其包括用來在一在地地理區域中路由來自或指向使用者之呼叫的邊交換器,與用來路由呼叫至其他邊交換器或其他在地或在其他地理區域之交換設備的交換設備,前述方法包括以下步驟
a processing system linked to the internet for allowing a subscriber to select at least one calling feature via the internet, the processing system configured to perform the process comprising the steps of:
一處理系統,連接到網際網路,用來讓一用戶透過網際網路選擇至少一種呼叫功能,該處理系統被配置來執行包括下列步驟之方法
receiving a call under the control of said controller from a calling party, using a communications device, intended for a subscriber, the processing system processing the call pursuant to at least one calling feature designated by said subscriber, where the at least one calling feature had previously been communicated to the processing system by said subscriber via the internet;
在前述控制器之控制下接收一來自使用通訊裝置之呼叫方、意圖接通用戶之呼叫,前述處理系統依據前述用戶所指定之至少一種呼叫功能來處理前述呼叫,其中該至少一種呼叫功能是之前由前述用戶透過網際網路所傳遞至前述處理系統者
providing a website for the users to view features associated with the routing of the one or more communications;
提供一網站讓使用者可以瀏覽與路由一或多通呼叫相關的功能
facilitating certain of the users to sign up to become subscribers of the communication networks through the entry of user personal data through the website;
讓部分使用者透過經由網路輸入使用者個人資料來簽約成為通訊網路用戶
invoking the at least one calling feature prior to said received call reaching a terminating central office, said at least one calling feature placing at least two calls simultaneously to at least two different communications devices previously designated by said subscriber;
在前述被接收呼叫抵達終接中心局之前啟動至少一種呼叫功能,前述至少一種呼叫功能將至少兩通呼叫同時放置到先前由前述用戶所指定的至少兩個不同通訊裝置上
granting access to authorized ones of the users;
准許經授權之使用者的存取
providing a menu of available features, via the website, for the users to make feature selections;
提供可用功能之選單,透過網站,讓使用者進行功能選擇
processing of feature selections into control criteria;
處理前述功能選擇成為控制準則
detecting that one of at least two calls has been answered at one of the communications devices; and
偵測至少兩通呼叫中的其中一通在其中一個通訊裝置上被應答
receiving and storing the control criteria in a database associated with the server, the controller, or both;
接收並儲存控制準則於一資料庫中,其與前述伺服器、控制器或兩者連通
in response to the detecting, abandoning other calls to the remaining one or more communications devices and establishing a connection between the calling party's communications device and the answered communications device.
回應前述偵測,放棄在其餘一或多個通訊裝置上的其他呼叫,並建立呼叫方通訊裝置與應答通訊裝置間的連線
receiving a communication request at the controller, from the calling party to an intended called party;
在控制器上接收一從呼叫方到目標被呼叫方的通訊要求
upon receiving the communication request, utilizing the controller to retrieve at least a portion of the control criteria relating to the user to determine a possible route for the one or more communications from the calling party; and
基於通訊要求,使用控制器來叫出與使用者相關之至少部分控制準則,藉以為來自呼叫方之一或多通通訊決定可能路由
pclass_11293b_20150703.gif
executing the control criteria to facilitate the routing of the one or more communications across at least one of the at least two networks.
執行控制準則來促成經由前述兩個網路中至少一個網路、就一或多通通訊進行路由
 pclass_11293c_20150703.gif
US 8,457,113  請求項1
1. A method performed by a web enabled processing system including one or more web servers coupled to a call processing system serving as an intelligent interconnection between at least one packet network and a second network coupled to a switching facility of a telecommunications network, the telecommunications network comprising edge switches for routing calls from and to subscribers within a local geographic area and switching facilities for routing calls to other edge switches or other switching facilities local or in other geographic areas, the method for enabling voice communication from a calling party to a called party across both the packet network and the second network, the method comprising the steps of:
一種由一網路可執行處理系統來執行的方法,該網路可執行處理系統包括一或多個耦接於一呼叫處理系統之網路伺服器,而該呼叫處理系統則做為至少一個封包網路與第二個耦接於電信網路交換設備之網路間的智能互聯,該電信網路包括用來在一在地地理區域中路由來自與指向用戶之呼叫的邊交換器以及用來路由呼叫至在地或在其他地理區域之其他邊交換器或其他交換設備的交換設備,前述方法用來讓呼叫方可以跨越封包網路與第二網路與被呼叫方進行語音通訊,該方法包括以下步驟
receiving call data which is associated with a call originated by the calling party via either the packet network or the second network, at the call processing system, the calling party using a communications device to originate the call for the purpose of initiating voice communication, the call processing system coupled to at least one switching facility of the telecommunications network via the second network, the call processing system processing the call across both the packet network and the second network to complete the call to the called party; and
在呼叫處理系統上,透過封包網路或第二網路接收與由呼叫方所撥打之一呼叫相關的呼叫資料,呼叫方使用一通訊裝置以啟動語音通訊為目的撥打該呼叫,前述呼叫處理系統經由第二網路耦接於至少一個電信網路交換設備,前述呼叫處理系統跨越封包網路與第二網路處理該呼叫,藉以完成將該呼叫傳遞至被呼叫方
establishing the voice communication between the calling party and the called party after the call is completed, across both the packet network and the second network.
在該呼叫完成後,跨越封包網路與第二網路,建立呼叫方與被呼叫方之間的語音通訊
 pclass_11293d_20150703.gif
Source: 科技政策研究與資訊中心—科技產業資訊室整理,2015/07

表二、專利訴訟案件基本資料:PAL控告T3
訴訟名稱 Patent Asset Licensing, LLC v. T3 Communications, Inc
提告日期 2015年6月19日
原告 Patent Asset Licensing, LLC
被告 T3 Communications, Inc
案號 3:15-cv-00747-TJC-JBT
訴訟法院 the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
系爭專利  US 7,764,777
 US 8,155,298
 US 8,457,113
系爭產品或服務 T3所提供之電話服務,其提供基本的通話功能,如通話轉接(line hunting/rollover)等,http://www.t3com.com/services/bundled-voice-data/ (最後瀏覽日:2015/07/02)
訴狀下載 download.gif
Source: 科技政策研究與資訊中心—科技產業資訊室整理,2015/07

表三、本案原告同日基於本案系爭專利向相同法院所起訴之其他訴訟
訴訟名稱 案號 被告
Patent Asset Licensing, LLC v. Bright House Networks, LLC 3:15-cv-00742-TJC-MCR Bright House Networks, LLC
Patent Asset Licensing, LLC v. Wideopenwest Finance, LLC et al 3:15-cv-00743-MMH-JRK Wideopenwest Finance, LLC Knology of Florida, Inc. 
Patent Asset Licensing, LLC v. YMax Corporation 3:15-cv-00744-MMH-JBT YMax Corporation 
Patent Asset Licensing, LLC v. Birch Communications, Inc. 3:15-cv-00746-MMH-MCR Birch Communications, Inc.
Source: 科技政策研究與資訊中心—科技產業資訊室整理,2015/07




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