Will Vonage’s troubles ever cease? They’re now being sued by Nortel for infringing not one, not two, not three—but twelve patents.
RC2, whom you probably know as the company that makes the lead-tainted Thomas & Friends toys, has filed a lawsuit against rival Munchkin, INC for allegedly infringing on a spill-proof sippy cup patent.
Vonage has settled a patent infringement lawsuit with Sprint, agreeing to pay $80 million. Vonage has also struck a deal with Sprint to license their technology, a move that helped boost Vonage’s stock, according to the NYT.
A U.S. federal appeals court today invalidated the patent on Altace, a widely prescribed drug to treat high blood pressure. This clears the way for low-cost generic versions of the drug to hit the market immediately. King Pharmaceuticals, the company that makes Altace, is asking for a rehearing, but in the meantime it may lose its window of opportunity to “upgrade” Altace patients to a reformulated (and newly patented) version it was it planning on introducing in 2008. [Reuters]
“We have substantially completed the deployment of workarounds for the two name translation patents and have completed the development of the wireless patent workaround,” said Vonage chairman and chief executive Jeffrey Citron, in an e-mail message. “This is a significant step toward moving ahead with our business in the wake of the Verizon litigation.”
Good news for customers who want to stay with Vonage. Will their ‘workaround” defeat Verizon’s team of robotic super-lawyers? Only time will tell.
Abstract: A system and method for allowing a consumer to search a database containing used vehicles from a variety of sellers that can be queried to provide search results that include only vehicles having clean title histories.
We’re surprised that Verizon doesn’t already hold this patent. They patented the internet back in 1996. —MEGHANN MARCO
The U.S. International Trade Commission has banned Qualcomm from importing cellphone chips that infringe on a patent held by rival Broadcom. The chip in question, which is found in almost 80% of Verizon phones, uses a patented process to save power in the absence of cell coverage.
Bye-bye, Mike. Vonage CEO Michael Snyder “resigned from the board effective Thursday, and Chairman Jeffrey Citron will be interim CEO until the company finds a replacement,” according to CNNMoney. Vonage will “reduce its general administrative expenses by $30 million through the rest of 2007 by cutting its workforce and consolidating operations.
Vonage caught a break and can continue to sign up new customers after being found guilty of infringing patents belonging to Verizon. According to Marketwatch: “A federal court of appeals issued a stay that allows Holmdel, N.J.-based Vonage to continue to do business as usual until an appeal is heard. Vonage is seeking to make the stay permanent.” So, to amuse ourselves whilst we await the outcome of the appeal, here’s some intelligent analysis of the infringing patents.
Roger Warin, a lawyer for Vonage, told the court the choice between a partial stay and a total prohibition on using the Verizon technology amounted to “cutting off oxygen or a bullet to the head” for Vonage.
Vonage, which is one of the best-known brands in the Internet phone world, acknowledged last week that it doesn’t have a plan for getting around use of technology that Verizon claims violates patents it owns.
That’s the gist a reasonable person would gather from the language surrounding U.S. Patent No. 7,120,591, granted yesterday to Parago, the company behind Circuit City rebates.
• Bernanke should commission Bob the Builder to sing them a cheer-up song. “Builders’ confidence lowest in 11 years” [CT]
Michael Crichton has an excellent essay up over at the New York Times concerning medical company Metabolite’s efforts to defend its patent of a scientific fact before the Supreme Court tomorrow. There’s a lot of interesting commentary on the negative ramifications of companies owning ideas, associations, scientific theories, surgical procedures, products of nature… and, in the case of the Human Genome, the building blocks to human life itself.
Cingular has patented the emoticon. From Consumer Affairs: