Exclusive: I visit the patent office and dig out the newest VoIP patent applications

Long before the pitches to potential partners, long before the press releases and marketing campaigns, innovators in the IP telephony space are likely to apply for a patent. The interval between patent application and approval can exceed two years.

Long before the pitches to potential partners, long before the press releases and marketing campaigns, innovators in the IP telephony space are likely to apply for a patent.

The interval between patent application and approval can exceed two years. With that fact in mind, I thought I would get the scoop for you by going to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office site and performing a search for recently published patent applications with the keywords "VoIP," "IP telephony" or "Internet telephony" in the document title.

I restricted my search to the four-month period from August through November of this year.

I found nine patent applications that mentioned VoIP in the title. For "IP telephony," I found five. For "Internet telephony," I located two. There was some overlap.

Because each patent application description is tied to an URL that changes for each user, I cannot readily link to them here. There are too many to list in one blog entry, so I will spread out these citations, listing three each day. When the patent owner is a company in or near the VoIP space, I'll let you know.

I'd welcome feedback from you on how these aspiring innovations strike you.

Here are the first three new patent applications with VoIP in the title, along with the abstract for each:

Method and apparatus for VoIP telephony call announcement
"A system and method for call announcement using a typical computing device permits a typical computing device, such as a PDA, to be used more effectively for telephony. In particular, a novel headphones connector and a software program/module being executed by the computing device are combined together to implement the call announcing method. The system permits the sound output of the computing device to be split in various manners in order to permit the computing device to be operated as a telephony device."

Lawful interception for VoIP calls in IP based networks-"The lawful interception device to monitor media streams of two IP parties includes an SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) proxy server or an MGC (Media Gateway Controller) to detect information in the signalling information being transmitted between the two IP (Internet Protocol) parties and to generate instructions out of the detected signalling information for instructing an RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol) proxy server to create channels to bypass a media stream to be intercepted via an intermediate storage medium. Due to adaptation of connection parameters in the SDP part of the SIP messages sent to the IP parties the interception is transparent to the IP parties."

Communication between switched-circuit communication network and VoIP network domains-"A gateway device is connected between a switched-circuit communication network and at least two VoIP network domains, each domain having a packet-based signaling controller. The gateway device transfers to each of the signaling controllers a registration request message so that the gateway device is simultaneously registered in the at least two VoIP network domains as a VoIP end point."

Tomorrow, we'll explore:

"Method for setting up a useful data link between terminals in a VoIP system," "Stealth interception of calls within a VoIP network," and "Call routing method in VoIP based on prediction MOS value."

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