Verizon Sues to Shut Down Vonage

Verizon and Vonage begin a battle over alleged patent-infringement today. From Asbury Park Press:

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.

The upshot: If Verizon prevails in court, Vonage could be forced to shut down, at least temporarily, while it redesigns its service. That could cause a lot of heartburn for Vonage’s 2 million customers.

Brooke Schulz, a Vonage spokeswoman, said Monday that Verizon’s claims are baseless. “This is about Verizon trying to stifle competition,” she said. “We have not infringed on their patents, period.”

Bad news for Vonage customers, as it seems that Verizon’s “patents” are so broad they may be impossible to design around.—MEGHANN MARCO

Verizon suit a threat to future of Vonage