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)

PREVIOUSLY: Verizon Sues to Shut Down Vonage
Vonage CEO Quits, Company Will Cut Jobs, Marketing
Never Mind, Vonage Can Still Sign Up New Customers
Vonage Announces “Workarounds” To Counter Verizon Patent Infringement
Vonage Is Like, “We Are Totally Working Around Those Verizon Patents, OK?”


Edit Your Comment

  1. homerjay says:

    “We are pleased with the decision to vacate the 880 patent and the damages.”


  2. Alan Thomas says:

    I switched several months ago because of the immediacy of one of the C&D orders.

    Unfortunately, I switched to Verizon’s Voicewing service. It stinks. The webpage is slow, the service is unreliable, no voicemail attachments via email…I want Vonage back!

    What other services have folks tried and liked?

  3. C.Barr says:

    Well whatever Vonage, just keep my service up and running and don’t jack my rates up.

  4. Buran says:

    @Alan Thomas: Then switch back.

  5. Falconfire says:

    Its sad too, because Vonage has a legitimate claim on the patents being invalid as there was much prior art on one of them, and the other was a patent on concept that there was no other way to do which accourding to patent law, is illegal.

    Unfortunately the US patent system is so freaking broken they might have to suffer a beating from it.

  6. FLConsumer says:

    I switched from Vonage to Viatalk about 2 years ago, VERY happy with them. I still have 2 regular Viatalk lines, but also have ~100+ DID wholesale lines with them for various companies I work with. Very pleased.

  7. philbert says:

    Vonage is a butt fuck waitin to happen

  8. DarthSensei says:

    At least you didn’t buy into Sunrocket like I did. I bought 2 years up front and they decided to cancel the service after 1 and keep my money.

    Then they went bankrupt.

  9. yg17 says:

    @Falconfire: And not only that, they’re probably going to get 12 jurors who know NOTHING about technology and wouldn’t know what VoIP was if it his them in the arse, and they’re going to say “Well Sprint was doing that phone call thingy years before Vonage was, so they must be guilty!”

    You’re exactly right, the patent system is extremely broken. I understand there’s a need for patents, but more often than not, it just results in anti-competitive practices, allowing some company to have a monopoly for 20 years because they can sue the crap out of anyone else who dares come close to doing what’s outlined in the patent.

  10. n/a says:

    that image albeit from the karate kid reminds me of that one great quote used in a rock video,

    “Sweep the leg johnny!”