Keeping costs down is vital for companies, so 8x8's new patent should be a welcome development. The patent in question—number 9,203,652—focuses on 8x8's voice routing technologies, and comes with an added bonus of being “cost effective.”
The patent in question is titled “Systems, Methods, Devices and Arrangements for Cost-Effective Routing,” and relates to several different methods for putting call routing into Internet protocol (IP) communications systems. One method focuses on endpoint devices to measure call quality, and allow for intervention when quality is below desired levels. Assessments taken by the endpoint devices can then be routed to central servers, which then provide that intervention.
This isn't the first new patent for 8x8, and it likely won't be the last; since incorporating, 8x8 has pulled in a hefty 113 patents in the United States, representing a presence in not only voice and video communications systems, but also for signaling and processing as well as storage.
It's safe to call this good news; new patents mean new potential lines of industry and potentially revenue down the line. Though not every patent becomes a product—just look at Apple for proof on that score—there's value in just having the patent itself.
For tech companies, patents provide a little extra spark to reputation; an array of patents means constant research and development. With patent development for voice routing, 8x8 can offer new value for its customer. If it can use this patented technology to produce new, cost-effective systems, it improves the likelihood that current users will stick around, and tell others about a quality overall experience. That offers extra value and bolsters the likelihood of new business and customer retention.
Even if the new patent is never used, it can prevent competitors from slipping in to a particular field, play defense against competing tech, or even require competitors to pay licensing fees for patented technology, a new revenue stream without the need for further development.
New patents may not always mean new products, but new patents do mean aggressive new development. Technology firms depend on new development to help shape the future, and even reassure clients of a company's overall worth. 8X8, meanwhile, has clearly done what it can to make those reassurances happen, and will likely continue to do so.