Feeds

Zombie Nortel grabs Cisco by the neck, again

Spherix claims patent rights over practically every network

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Cisco must by now be getting sick of acting as defender-by-proxy of the entire computer networking industry, with yet another pile of ex-Nortel patents being wrapped up in a lawsuit delivered to San Jose.

Spherix, once a biotech and now a patent toll-collector, picked more than 100 former Nortel patents from troll-in-chief Rockstar, with Rockstar advising the downstream troll on which companies it should target.

The eleven patents covered by the new lawsuit, filed in Delaware on March 24, cover such a wide range of capabilities that it's impossible to view this lawsuit in any light other than it being an opening gambit which, if successful, would see Spherix levying tolls on practically any network vendor. Here's the list:

  • 7,385,998 – Encapsulating traffic “over metallic physical mediums”, with claims covering ATM, Frame Relay, Ethernet, IP, PPP, voice and Infiniband.
  • 6,578,086 – Dynamic network topology management.
  • 6,697,325 – reconverging a network after a link failure.
  • 8,607,323 – which covers “pinholing” to allow media communication across firewalls.
  • 7,664,123 – a virtual router.
  • 7,397,763 – admission control for stuff like conference calls.
  • 6,807,174 – a less-interesting patent for the future, since it's about DS-X signal transport in ATM.
  • 5,970,125 – getting CPE to “phone home” to a server.
  • 6,130,877 – using broadcast messages to activate network “entities”, with rate control.
  • 6,222,848 – SDH to gigabit Ethernet.
  • RE40467 – data flow management inside a switch based on interface cards and a backplane.

Spherix's complaint alleges that “the vast majority” of Cisco's switching and routing revenue is generated “by products and services implementing technology that infringes the asserted patents”. For example, everything that implements IS-IS Incremental SPF (shortest path first) infringes a Spherix patent, as does any product implementing Cisco's FabricPath topology management.

With Cisco's CRS-X and IOS XR software in line over virtualisation, the lawsuit seems to El Reg to be a threat to more than just Cisco. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?