Time for sharp competitive intelligence

Vonage has agreed to settle partially on a patent suit with Verizon after the company was faced with possible interruption of its service. Verizon alleges that Vonage is infringing on seven of its patents on voice-over-IP technologies. A joint statement read succinctly “The parties are pleased to have resolved this matter.”

In March of this year, a jury found that Vonage is infringing on three of the seven patents, awarding Verizon with $58 million in damages. The judge issued an injunction which was stayed pending an appeal. Nevertheless in September, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the earlier court decision. Vonage then filed a petition for a rehearing.

If Vonage wins a rehearing on either the ‘574 or ‘711 patent, or if the injunction is vacated as to the ‘574 or ‘711 patent, Vonage will have to pay Verizon $80 million. If Vonage does not win a rehearing on either the ‘574 or ‘711 patent, or if the stay is lifted reinstating the injunction, Vonage will pay Verizon $117.5 million.

Things got more interesting as AT&T filed a lawsuit against Vonage on October 17 for a patent on connecting a traditional telephone to the Internet. The suit was filed after two years of unsuccessful negotiations, however Vonage said they would resolve the matter with AT&T to prevent court proceedings.

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