Vonage Loses Verizon Patent Infringement Appeal, Downplays The Damage

Oh, Vonage.

You lost two of three, and are downplaying the damage.

From CNet:

“We thank the appellate court for its thoughtful consideration of the merits of our case,” Vonage’s chief legal officer, Sharon O’Leary, said in a statement. “We are pleased with the decision to vacate the 880 patent and the damages. However, Vonage remains confident that it has not infringed on the 880 patent–a position we will continue to vigorously assert and look forward to presenting at trial.”

But the reality of the situation is altogether different. For one, the two patents the court upheld happen to be the most fundamental to Vonage’s service. Essentially, U.S. Patent No. 6,282,574 and U.S. Patent No. 6,104,711 define how phone calls are routed over the Internet, which essentially is the basis of Vonage’s IP telephony service today.

Vonage says it has workarounds, and will only need to pay fines and royalties to Verizon for the period of time when it was infringing on their patents.

“It’s business as usual,” O’Leary said in a statement. “We have had our workarounds for the ‘711 and ‘574 patents in place for some time and will remain focused on providing a great customer experience.”

From what we understand, the patents just say, “We patent the internet, noob,” but since they were filed in the 1990’s when the internet was just a fable used to intimidate children who didn’t brush their teeth before bed, they’re totally valid.

Is it time to port your number? The consensus seems to be that Verizon will try to challenge the “fixes” next, and well, they have lawyers that can fly and shoot fire from their eyes. True story.

In other news, Vonage just lost another patent infringement lawsuit. This time they owe $69.5 million to Sprint. They’re appealing that one, too.

Vonage loses appeal in Verizon patent case [CNet]
(Photo:Movie Screenshots)

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