RPT-Frontier Communications sues to block Google Voice

Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:10am EDT

(Repeats with no changes to text of headline)

* Frontier Communications: Google Voice infringing patents

* Frontier wants Google's "one number" feature blocked

By Tom Hals

WILMINGTON, Del., June 22 (Reuters) - Frontier Communications Corp FTR.N is suing to stop Google Inc (GOOG.O) from offering a service that gives users one phone number connecting their home, work and cell phones because it infringes a patent, according to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday.

Frontier, which provides phone, Internet access and satellite TV, also asked a federal court to award it damages for the infringement by the Google Voice service.

"Google's deliberate infringement of the (Frontier patent) has greatly and irreparably damaged Frontier," said the complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

Users of Google Voice can request a new phone number from the Internet company. That number is assigned to the user, not any particular device. When someone calls it, the user can decide where that calls rings, such as on a cell phone or home phone.

Frontier, which is based in Stamford, Connecticut, says that infringes its patent. Its patent application described its invention as one that allows a subscriber to "be reached on multiple telephone lines from a single dial-in number."

Frontier and Google, which is based in Mountain View, California, did not immediately return calls for comment.

The case is Frontier Communications Corp v Google Inc, U.S District Court, District of Delaware. (Editing by Derek Caney)

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Comments (3)
ottoflick wrote:
There’s actually another company, www.patlive.com, that’s been doing this for quite some time – well into the mid 90s.

Jun 22, 2010 7:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
aswath wrote:
It is not clear that #7742468 is the basis for the suit, even though some sites are claiming that. I think their priority date will be Feb 9, 2007 but GC predates that as well. Also there are other companies (like uReach.com) that have been offering such a service much prior to GC, even though it is getting the credit.

In any event there has been a patent on a similar service filed by Cincinnati Bell that may even have expired by now.

Jun 22, 2010 9:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
minghia wrote:
When I worked for NorTel in 1990 one of the research groups was working on this idea of having one number to be used anywhere. It is obviously not new or particularly inventive.

Jun 22, 2010 10:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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