The legal battle between Vonage and Verizon has taken an interesting spin. Vonage Holdings Corp. (and its base of committed customers) has turned the dispute into a campaign to change patent law. The United States Supreme Court may have done exactly that.
In a far-reaching decision, the high court has said that companies may no longer be able to patent ordinary innovationor make a big deal about an invention that does no more than yield predictable results. In other words, it is good news for everyone. There is a higher bar for innovators so that they can’t patent any toy that they build in the lab and then demand royalty from anyone else who develops something similar. At the same time, companies can make innovative use of existing technologies to create value for everyone.
While it may be bad news for patent attorneys, it appears that there will be lot less patent litigation going forward, allowing everyone to create cool products and make money rather than fighting each other. Indeed, next few years may see some interesting developments in which some of the patents are cancelled, but in the long run, it is great news for everyone.