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Cisco gains patent on 'triple play'

Time to pay up, partners

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Savouring the broad and bold nature of the US patent system, Cisco appears to have received the rights to the "triple threat".

The US Patent Office granted Cisco's request in July, and the patent at hand is as vague as you might fear. Filing 7,075,919 covers a "system and method for providing integrated voice, video and data to customer premises over a single network".

Customers of the networking giant may want to note this sweeping intellectual property win.

This is certainly a handy patent for Cisco since it sells plenty of the internet, voice, and TV networking gear that goes into the "triple play". The company applied for the IP back in 2000.

If you take the patent at face value, Cisco seems more than capable of charging the telecommunications and cable crowds for the rights to deliver their voice, data, and media services. The company managed to patent not just the voice, data, and TV basics, but also things such as on-demand gaming and music.

Here's the massive opening shot.

A method for providing integrated voice, video, and data content in an integrated service offering to one or more customer premises, comprising: receiving television programming from a programming source; converting the television programming to a common format for communication over a single network infrastructure using a common communication protocol; receiving data from a data network in the common format of the common communication protocol for communication over the single network infrastructure; receiving telephone communications from a telephone network; converting the telephone communications to the common format for communication over the single network infrastructure using the common communication protocol; communicating the converted television programming, data, and converted telephone communications in the common format over the single network infrastructure using the common communication protocol to one or more customer premises to provide the integrated service offering; and assigning customer premises to multicast domains to support conditional access of the customer premises to content that is selected from the group consisting of selected television programming, video-on-demand, pay-per-view video, near-video-on-demand, audio channels, audio-on-demand, and interactive gaming, wherein the conditional access is implemented using interdiction.

You're no doubt as excited as we are to see if Cisco makes good on its IP. Who's ready to pay a bigger networking tax? ®

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