Vonage Barred from Using Verizon Patents

 
 
By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2007-03-23 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The company has said that its customers will not be affected, and in public statements, attorneys for the company have said that they anticipate getting a stay on the injunction while they appeal.

WASHINGTON—A federal judge has ruled that Vonage Holdings Corp. may not use patents held by Verizon Communications in operating its VOIP phone service. The ruling follows a decision on March 8 in which a federal jury found Vonage was infringing on Verizons patents. Judge Claude Hilton said that he would delay the injunction for two weeks so that Vonage would have a chance to try for a stay while it appeals the decision.
Read more here about Vonage having to pay $58 million for patent infringement.
In theory, this means that Vonage might have to stop operating its public VOIP service until it can find a way around the use of Verizons patents, or it can convince Verizon to license those patents. However, the company has said that its customers will not be affected, and in public statements attorneys for the company have said that they anticipate getting a stay on the injunction while they appeal. Considering the speed of the federal appeals process, that could take months.
The judge, in his decision, agreed with Verizon that the company would suffer harm that could not be overcome simply by making royalty payments. Verizon operates a public VOIP service that competes with Vonage. CNN is reporting that Vonage stock dropped after the decision was announced, dropping immediately by $0.72. The Alexandria, Va., District Court will hear arguments for the stay in two weeks. The judge has said he will render his decision then. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on voice over IP and telephony.
 
 
 
 
Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazine's Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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