18 February 2007

forever4035 vs MyPhoneIpDesktop

This article aims at clarifying two contentious issues that have been raised by Alcatel with regards to the publication on this blog of the forever4035 softphone :

  1. intellectual property : the UAUDP protocol is a proprietary protocol that cannot be used without authorization from Alcatel

  2. commercial competition : the forever4035 jeopardizes sales of the MyPhoneIpDesktop application

Before I proceed with this, it is important to recall that these two points are not independent of each other (Intellectual Property Law is meant to protect revenue), but for the clarity of the discussion, I have chosen to address them separately.

First point : intellectual property

Alcatel’s UAUDP protocol clearly is a proprietary protocol. Application partners can request authorization to use it in their products and will receive support from Alcatel to do so if their request is accepted.

Slimphony not being an application partner of Alcatel it has no chance to be eligible for support from Alcatel. As it is stated in the forever4035 license agreement, the forever4035 softphone implements some parts of the UAUDP protocol (on the client side) and this implementation has been achieved through reverse engineering.

It is of course not in my intention to breach any intellectual property right held by Alcatel over the UAUDP protocol.

To date, there is to my knowledge no evidence that this could be the case.

I hereby suggest Alcatel to provide detailed information on any patent or end user license agreement regarding the use of the UAUDP protocol on the client side and to clarify what is allowed or not when an IP Phone license is purchased for the OmniPCX Enterprise system.

Second point : commercial competition

I believe this to be crystal clear for anyone who plans to download and use the forever4035 softphone : as opposed to the MyPhoneIpDesktop application, the forever4035 is not a commercial product and does not benefit from a professional technical support, neither has it taken any formal compatibility tests with the OmniPCX Enterprise.

Furthermore it is clearly stated in the license agreement that the forever4035 is a freeware that cannot be used for commercial purposes.

However, the forever4035 has some innovative features that make it attractive and unique. I believe these features can make OmniPCX Enterprise users aware of the benefits of genuine IP Telephony and therefore act as a booster for developing further computer telephony integration.