Business voice over internet service has come a long way. Who could have imagined that one day the world would be enjoying the internet speeds we currently have? And since 5G will soon be realized, there’s a promise of things getting much better. In essence, innovations are the driving force behind the great technological advancements in the hosted VoIP service industry.
For individuals and institutions to benefit from the solutions that they had come up with, it was necessary to come up with a way of safeguarding their innovations. Patents helped in doing that. In recent times though, patents are being used as a tool by different organizations to gain an edge over their competitors. So what is the role of patents in voice over internet service?
The Patent Tug of War in Technology
The telecommunication industry has witnessed a lot of changes. New developments keep popping up every day. Many organizations irrespective of their sizes have been battling cases in courts related to patents. In the VoIP technology industry, there are two schools of thoughts regarding patents. There are those who believe that the patents are no longer serving the purpose that they were initially intended to serve. The individuals in this school of thought are of the opinion that patents should be scrapped.
The other school of thought is that the patent system in its current state should be maintained. This is despite the fact that the current patent system does not mirror the initial intentions that led to the development of the patent system. In light of that, we have to admit that, determining the original source of different innovations has also become a challenge. This is because many innovations, particularly in business voice over internet service, are an improvement of innovations or ideas of other individuals. So in such cases, who has the right to be given the patent of a particular product? That’s how complicated the tug of war with regards to patents is.
How Does the Voice over Internet Service Benefit From The Tussle Over Patents?
Patents are supposed to create a level playing ground in any industry. Therefore irrespective of the size of an organization or its financial muscle, the patents were meant to ensure that big organizations don’t bully the smaller ones through unethical business practices by stealing their ideas. With patents, you also have an easier time convincing investors to invest in your ideas and products. The biggest question though is whether the benefits that patents are supposed to bring are being witnessed in the VoIP technology industry.
So are Patents Discouraging Competition?
Key industry players will always try to keep off competition. With their huge financial muscle, they will file multiple cases in courts related to patents. Small organizations with less financial capabilities normally prefer settling the suits out of court. That, (settling suits out of court) helps the small companies avoid long costly legal battles. By settling the disputes out of court, the small companies lose out, as they are forced to abandon their work on a specific aspect of business voice over internet service. This means that the big organizations will always have an upper hand in the patent tussle.
Cost of Patent Battles
The costs being referred to here are not those related to court cases. When big companies bully smaller companies due to their influence and financial muscle, only one thing is achieved. The innovation in voice over internet service slows down. The effect of the slowdown means that the expansion of VoIP technologies also becomes slower. That has a negative effect on all players in the industry as better and more reliable products won’t be rolled out.
The Way Forward
Individuals and smaller organizations are actually the ones coming up with new and innovative solutions in the industry. With the current patent laws, some bigger organizations will always allege that they were the original owners of the ideas brought forth. This is because the current patent regulations can be exploited to favour big players.
Yes, patents can be kept, but the regulations need to be reviewed to ensure that smaller firms are not exploited to the detriment of the industry. As players in this industry, we fully support this initiative. You can go through some of the business VoIP services we offer if you want to make your business stronger.