CounterPath Corporation (NASDAQ: CPAH) (TSX: CCV), a leading developer of award-winning desktop, tablet and mobile VoIP software products and solutions, today announced it has been awarded patent No. US 8542673 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Titled ‘Multimedia Interactive Telephony Services’, the patent outlines systems and methods of extending Internet telephony-based services to include interactive visual user interface elements.
Enterprises are increasingly embracing technology that puts their customer’s needs first and, by eliminating the need to listen-and-wait before making a choice in an audio-based system such as voicemail or interactive voice response (IVR) service, CounterPath is reducing a major pain point associated with IVRs. This technology allows users to instead choose among visually presented options such as buttons, tables and drop-down lists which are presented in a graphical user interface (GUI) such as a web form, desktop application, Google “widget”, CounterPath Bria softphone, or other interfaces such as text messages.
A broad patent, it covers communication protocols such as TDM telephony, SIP, Skype, XMPP/Jingle, Mitel MiNet, SIP/SIMPLE, XMPP, MSNP, YMSG, HTTP or SOAP, making the patent applicable to not only the Bria softphone, but also Skype, Google Talk, web browsers, Microsoft Windows or Macintosh applications or mobile devices such as iPhones, Android smartphones and BlackBerrys.
Examples of potential applications of the patented technology include:
- Services such as visual voicemail/videomail, or other presentation methods for unified communications of messages and information relating to voice services. Currently, the only way to navigate through many services offered via telephony services, such as voicemail or conferences, is through a numerical keypad or by relying on voice recognition which is still an emerging technology and results in frequent errors. The patent would enable other faster and more intuitive ways to interact with these services. For example, instead of accessing voicemail by dialing a number and listening to prompts (Press 1 for new messages, press 2 for old messages, etc.), a user sees a list of voicemails in a drop-down list on their desktop softphone or mobile softphone app and makes selections with a mouse. Similarly, when contacting a business, instead of calling a number and waiting to listen to a full list of available departments before entering a selection using the keypad, instead users navigate to the desired selection quickly via button, text fields, or tables within a window that pops up in their web-based browser.
- Services which dynamically present options for unified communications based on the endpoint. Users today often have access to multiple devices with which to communicate, and often prefer one type of device to listen and another to review or make visual choices. This patent covers the use of multiple devices for the services, where the view presented to the user changes depending on the device capability. For example, the Bria softphone on a high-spec Android or iOS tablet offers a completely different and comprehensive visual experience for review, playback and manipulation of messages, information and voice services, compared to a low-spec entry smartphone.
- Services which do not require the existence of an audio stream. Existing methods of using key presses to control services rely on the fact that a call is currently in progress. This patent also covers the more common situation where an audio call is not necessary. For example, presence indicators show the availability of participants prior to a conference call and when everyone is ready, an option to start the call is presented to the host, bringing all parties into the conference without any further action, considerably simplifying the way in which mobile users interact with conference calls passcodes and bridge numbers.
“This patent opens the door for a myriad of new possibilities for how we interact with audio-based services like voicemail and IVR systems,” said Michael Doyle, Vice President of Technology for CounterPath. “Telephony systems are still in wide use today and customers often have to resort to awkward memorized key presses to navigate services offered over the phone such as voicemail or conferences, whether through VoIP solutions such as Bria, or traditional PSTN or cellular phones. We recognized the smartphone allows for significantly increased opportunities for customers to control their phones using menus, voice, text, video options and buttons. With this patent, we continue to demonstrate the integrated approach CounterPath has towards building value and protecting technology for our current and future customers, and our investors.”
CounterPath is a global leader in softphone technology, with millions of endpoints downloaded and/or deployed. With the largest list of interoperability with IP PBXs and SIP-based network infrastructure softswitches, the Bria softphone is built toward industry standards with proven multimedia technology that provides a high-quality, unified communications experience and voice and video calls over fixed, mobile and Wi-Fi® broadband networks. Bria’s ability to use mobile and Wi-Fi networks gives businesses new options for “always on” connectivity while realizing cost savings through free Wi-Fi networks.
With this new patent, CounterPath’s intellectual property portfolio now includes 17 patents granted and 7 additional applications pending.
To learn more about CounterPath’s solutions, visit www.counterpath.com/solutions.html.
CounterPath’s SIP-based VoIP softphones are changing the face of telecommunications. An industry and user favorite, Bria softphones for desktop and mobile devices, together with the Company’s server applications and Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) solutions, enable service providers, OEMs and enterprises large and small around the globe to offer a seamless and unified communications experience across both fixed and mobile networks. Standards-based, cost-effective and reliable, CounterPath’s award-winning solutions power the voice and video calling, messaging, and presence offerings of customers such as Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, Verizon, BT, Mobilkom Austria, Rogers, Avaya, BroadSoft, Cisco Systems, GENBAND, Metaswitch Networks, Mitel, NTT and NEC.
For more information about CounterPath’s Bria softphone applications and provisioning solutions, visit: www.counterpath.com/products.
Hill + Knowlton Strategies