Lawsuits: Vonage Owes Verizon $58 Million

Whoops. A jury ruled in favor of Verizon on 3 of 7 counts of patent infringement. From Ars Technica:

The jury hearing the case awarded Verizon $58 million in damages and said that the VoIP provider must pay royalties of 5.5 percent to Verizon if it wishes to continue using Verizon’s IP.

In a statement, Vonage notied that the jury only found that it had infringed on three of the seven patents in question, with two of them related to billing. The jury also ruled that Vonage did not willfully infringe Verizon’s patents, which likely reduced the damages award from the $197 million figure Verizon was seeking.

Vonage plans to appeal the verdict and is attempting to reassure customers that there will be no interruption in services, saying that should Verizon’s request for an injunction against Vonage be granted, it will be immediately appealed. A hearing on Verizon’s request for an injunction will take place on March 23.

We’ve got to be honest, this isn’t looking good for Vonage. You might want to begin planning your exit strategy if you’re a customer of theirs. Then again, appeals, appeals, appeals. —MEGHANN MARCO

Vonage found guilty of infringing three Verizon patents [Ars Technica]

PREVIOUSLY: Verizon Sues To Shut Down Vonage

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  1. Havok154 says:

    I’m so happy over this. Vonage screwed us and now they’re getting screwed. They never helped me fix the bad service, NEVER moved my phone number over after 3 months; I was supposed to get 6 months free, I recieved none, and they charged me for the router they sent me by mistake, that we sent back to them. They refused to refund any of the money they overcharged us.

    Hope they’re happy with that extra $200+ they charged us, cause I’m ecstatic to hear they’re losing $60million.

  2. niteflytes says:

    I like Vonage. Never had a bit of trouble. I’d hate to lose my Vonage phone service.

  3. ZonzoMaster says:

    Ehrm, isnt it?: “Lawsuits: Vonage Owes Verizon $58 Million” as in, with an I? i might be wrong i mean, my first language is spanish =P.

  4. Benny says:

    I’m tired.

    I read that as “Law sluts: Vonage Owes Verizon $58 Million”

  5. homerjay says:

    I got out last week because of this impending verdict. Its a shame, really. I liked their service but I couldn’t risk losing my phone number that I ported to them last year. Got smacked with the $40 cancellation fee, but what can you do?

  6. Hawkins says:

    @homerjay: Would you mind sharing with the group WHERE you went?

    I am getting nervous about my phone number, too.

    I also note that VG is now trading at $4.86, down from their recent IPO at $17. This can’t be good.

  7. homerjay says:

    I just went back to Verizon. They’ve got “come back to the dark side” deals going on. Nothing earth shattering but it helps heal the wounds faster.

  8. Nobody seems to be realizing that with this verdict, Verizon can go after ALL the VOIP services. ALL OF THEM. And I’m sure they plan to; Vonage was just the biggest and best one to test their 3-easy-steps-to-monopoly strategy on.

    Their patent? Is for any method of using an IP network for telephone service. And Vonage, like all the other IP companies, came up with their system on their own; nobody used any code or anything of Verizon’s. They’re shutting down their competition because they happened to be the first to think of filing the patent, and the Patent Office just doesn’t understand technology. That’s the entire basis of their claim.

    SOFTWARE PATENTS ARE STUPID. I sincerely hope that this obviously anti-competitive and shady set of lawsuits serves to eventually get them phased out. (Note that I’m not referring to the copyrighting of actual code; that’s different, as it protects something you actually created. A software *patent* gives you a monopoly over a method of using code, whether you write it or not. It’s indefensible, and it’s killing competition in tech markets.)

    Hmph. I’m going to lose two business lines and a home service if Verizon succeeds in their quest, but I’ll talk over tin cans before I give them the satisfaction of having misused the court system to get MY business.

  9. KenyG says:

    - Mary Marsala -

    Vonage will appeal. They should counter-sue that the patents are in-valid. They claim Net2phone operated on the same premise as the patents and predates them. They should request reexamination through the patent office.

    Don’t expect anything to happen soon. It will take a long, long time.

  10. Pelagius says:

    Great. One less option for telecommunications. One company to rule them all! This is bad, bad news for consumers.

  11. y2julio says:

    I have Vonage as my VoIP provider. I love their service. Never had any issues. Would hate to lose them.

  12. the patent problems were over billing?

    WTF? How you generate a flat rate bill is now a patentable product?

  13. royal72 says:

    is there no honor among thieves anymore?!