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Appeals court affirms injunctions ordered against Vonage in suit brought against it by Verizon

Verizon and Vonage have been duking it out in court for months now in a lawsuit that alleges that Vonage used five Verizon patents in the technology Vonage uses to connect VOIP calls. Vonage fervently denied that it used technology covered in Verizon patents.

Specifically, Vonage maintained that it used third party technology that was already a standard in the industry, yet that didn’t keep Vonage still lost the initial volley of litigation. A court found Vonage used Verizon technology in three of the five patents at the heart of the case in March of 2007.

Shortly after the original loss to Verizon, Vonage issued a statement saying it would appeal the decision if a stay of the injunction handed down against it was not given. The injunction that Vonage feared came true with a judge banning Vonage from signing up new customers, awarding Verizon the sum of $58 million dollars in damages and rights to a 5.5% royalty on future Vonage revenues.

After the initial injunction, Vonage received an emergency stay of the injunction from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Today the saga of Vonage versus Verizon continues after the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington upheld the injunction against Vonage.

CNN Money reports that a third judge issued a dissenting opinion stating the entire ruling and award should have been affirmed. Vonage still maintains that the ruling won’t affect its business because the company stopped using Verizon technology even before the original patent case.

Even with the work arounds in place Vonage will still pay approximately $40 million in damages to Verizon.

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RE: Whatever
By Christopher1 on 9/27/2007 1:25:00 AM , Rating: 2
Have to agree with that. The problem in this case and all 'piecemeal patent' cases where they have patented a small section of code or a way of doing something is that someone else might come up with the same way of doing that thing without knowing that it has already been patented, and not being able to find the patent on record because they use different language than the second guy who makes up the same thing.

RE: Whatever
By Master Kenobi on 9/27/2007 8:26:00 AM , Rating: 2
I don't. Verizon has a competing VOIP service as part of its VIOS package. Verizon is completely in the right here.

RE: Whatever
By fleshconsumed on 9/27/2007 9:23:12 AM , Rating: 2
I've been "voip'ing" on a dial up connection making international calls (no extra money for you greedy phone companies) with Microsoft NetMeeting in 98-99 by using microphone and speakers connected to a PC, which works on exactly the same principle as VOIP, only without fancy headset.

While I'm not sure about the exact nature of the patent in question, what I'm sure about is that both Verizon and Sprint sued Vonage for the sole reason of eliminating competition. Why would customer pay long distance fees when he can just buy flat rate plan with nationwide calling from one of the numerous VOIP providers such as Vonage? The only reason Comcast/Verizon introduced VOIP is because they were forced to by their competitors, had there not been Vonage you still would be stuck with POTS and astronomical long distance rates. It's sad to see small startups who truly push the industry to be forced to close by the big guys protecting their monopoly.

RE: Whatever
By euclidean on 9/27/2007 12:43:42 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, it's all a money gain. What better way to make money than to hold a monopoly? It's interesting that the Communication companies here in America have such free reign of things while a Software company (micorsoft) is sued out the ass for doing essentially the same thing "supplying a product that works good enough for the majority of people and make sure that it is compatible enough for everyone to use but charge and arm and a leg, holding an effective monopoly over that given products market so that any other competitive company trying to offer something to it's consumer is so far behind that consumers don't want to switch."

Speaking of a monopoly....can a person or town sue/charge a company for having a monopoly in just a certain area, and not over the whole country?

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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