Judge puts halt on new Vonage customers

A federal judge has ordered Vonage not to accept any new customers while it continues to infringe on Verizon Communications patents covering some aspects of Internet phone calls. U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton said it was the only fair option that would minimize harm to both companies for now and did not offer either side a chance to make additional arguments during Friday's hearing, which lasted about an hour. "You have every right to go to the court of appeals. They might have something different to say," he told Vonage's attorneys. The leading Voice Over Internet Protocol provider has some 2.2 million subscribers.

Roger Warin, Vonage's attorney, protested Hilton's no-new-customers order telling him: "what you are doing is slowly strangling Vonage because it cannot preserve that customer base." He noted that Vonage's customer turnover rate is 2.5% per month. Vonage again said they would appeal the decision. In its original court complaint filed in June 2006, Verizon accused its growing rival of infringing on seven of its patents, but it later scaled back the scope to include only five patents. Vonage has maintained that it did not infringe on any of the Verizon patents and that its service rests on commercial, off-the-shelf technology. The company has also said that even if the verdict is upheld, its subscribers will not encounter disruptions because it is developing a technological workaround.

News source: News.com

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10 Comments

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Hmm. Maybe I won't have to listen to the commercial where a guy actually has the line "Nobody ever asks, "Are you on VoIP?"" I dunno why, but I absolutely hate that, considering nobody ever asks that in the first place...
-Spenser

MajinDark said,
Does this apply to ALL potentially new Vonage customers or just those in the US?


Just the US, for now. IF Verizon has international patents they can pursue Vonage in those countries, but probably won't because of a slight bias in the American court system that can't be bought in international courts.

I've used Vonage for close to two years now and it actually sound better than the old landline, that coincidentally happens to be Verizon

In the years that I've had Vonage so far... I've found that it's been very reliable. I haven't had any loss of service (That I noticed.)

I personally, think this ruling is crap. >.< While yes, it's nice that Vonage didn't get completely cut off. This is nearly as bad. (Since as customers leave, costs won't be covered by new customers. Which in turn lead to higher costs to current customers.)

Also, in response to #3; If your Vonage phone service is cutting out when you have bad weather, you should contact your local ISP. That shouldn't be something that's caused by Vonage.

As I understand Verizon's patents applies to its own network.
So not accepting customers on Verizon's network is a better arrangement.

Killing a business is too harsh.

Really? Killing, or humbling a business that is been found guilty (important point of my argument) of infringing on a patent is bad? ...a little sarcasm... but I would really like to understand why this is bad. Vonage did the improper thing here, and they really should not be allowed to continue to make money of of Verizon's patent.

Just thinking out loud

jameswjrose said,
Really? Killing, or humbling a business that is been found guilty (important point of my argument) of infringing on a patent is bad? ...a little sarcasm... but I would really like to understand why this is bad. Vonage did the improper thing here, and they really should not be allowed to continue to make money of of Verizon's patent.

Just thinking out loud

I agree Vonage should have looked into the whole patient issue a little deeper, however Verizon's main complaint is that they are losing thousands of customers to Vonage and this turns into loss of revenue. The reason people choose Vonage is because it offers everything Verizon has for a lot less money.