Patent Office Says Another ‘Worst Patent’ Should Be Rejected As Obvious

The latest news in the ongoing effort by the EFF to invalidate ten awful patents looks good, as the Patent Office has given an initial rejection of C2’s VoIP patent, claiming that it qualifies as “obvious.” The incredibly broad patent (6,243,373) basically covers all VoIP implementations. Of course, this is just the “first office action,” which rarely means very much, since the company still has the ability to come back and beg and plead for the USPTO to keep the patent alive (which happens often enough).

Still, it does make you wonder, since it certainly does seem like it was an abundantly obvious patent (yes, even back when it was filed — someone should talk to Jeff Pulver for some prior art), why it’s taken this long for the USPTO to begin to correct its error. While we continue to applaud the EFF for working to get these patents busted, as we mentioned recently, the real travesty is that it’s been six years since the EFF began busting patents, and while there’s progress on nearly all of the patents, it’s an incredible slog — and these are for the worst of the worst patents. Invalidating bad patents is a ridiculously difficult process. That’s really bad, considering all the harm they can do in the meantime.

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