A U.S. appeals court today granted Vonage Holdings Corp. a permanent stay against a lower court ruling barring it from providing service to new customers. On April 6, Judge Claude Hilton of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ordered Vonage to stop signing up new customers after a March jury ruling that the VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) provider had infringed three Verizon Communications Inc. patents. On the same day, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington gave Vonage a temporary stay of Hilton's order.
The appeals court made the stay permanent while Vonage appeals the patent infringement decision. Vonage believes it has a strong case for appeal, company officials said today. Vonage applauded the appeals court decision. "It's business as usual for us," Jeffrey Citron, Vonage's chairman and interim CEO, said in a statement. "We remain focused on growing and strengthening our business and driving toward profitability."