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Print 15 comment(s) - last by InsaneGain.. on Sep 28 at 1:27 AM

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: yeah i have to ask
By DrMrLordX on 9/27/2007 4:17:40 AM , Rating: 2
For better or worse, when patents are involved, it doesn't matter whether or not (or how) the patent-holder uses the technology covered by said patents. You're free to invent something and then never build it only to sue someone later after they infringe on one of your patents.


RE: yeah i have to ask
By Christopher1 on 9/27/2007 5:21:17 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, no, you aren't. Federal patent law says that if you patent something and then do not use it or try to use it in a product in a reasonable amount of time, then you lose the patent and it is fair game to anyone else.

Some people forget that little stipulation, including a lot of copyright and patent court judges.


RE: yeah i have to ask
By zombiexl on 9/27/2007 7:49:18 AM , Rating: 2
I worked for a company a few years back that put some IP in SQL stored procedures and functions (not really that smart I know). They never patented the process, becuase they werent sure that was going to be their final way fo doing what they were doing.

In any case they shipped a beta to a client and a year later a former employee of that client applied for and received a patent on that process. I'm pretty sure they have since changed the process and made it better at the same time.

My point is, if you have any chance you are going to use something you should patent it, or at least apply for the patent.


RE: yeah i have to ask
By InsaneGain on 9/28/2007 1:27:32 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
a year later a former employee of that client applied for and received a patent on that process


Even though the inventor didn't patent the process, I would think that the fact that the process was developed by someone else prior to the patent being filed would mean that the patent would be unenforceable due to prior art.


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