Vonage Awarded Two-Week Sigh of Relief

U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton has slapped Internet telephone provider Vonage with a permanent injunction against using Verizon technology in its VoIP service, but delayed the actual enforcement of the injunction for two weeks. Holmdel, N.J.-based Vonage moved quickly to assure its more than 2 million subscribers of continued service. "We are confident Vonage customers will not experience service interruptions or other changes as a result of this litigation," Vonage CEO Mike Snyder said in a statement. "We're pleased the court has decided to issue a permanent injunction to protect Verizon's patented innovations for offering commercial-quality VoIP and Wi-Fi services," said John Thorne, Verizon's senior vice president and deputy general counsel. Verizon claims a permanent injunction is necessary as the company contends Vonage's service has drained more than a million customers away from Verizon and that Vonage's precarious financial situation might put it in a position of being unable to pay the infringement judgment.

The next critical court date for Vonage is April 6, when Hilton is expected to rule on the company's motion to stay the decision. Vonage said if the court denies the stay, it would appeal to the Federal Court of Appeals. "Our fight is far from over. We remain confident that Vonage has not infringed on any of Verizon's patents -- a position we will continue vigorously contending in federal appeals court -- and that Vonage will ultimately prevail in this case," said Snyder. Sharon O'Leary, Vonage's executive vice president, chief legal officer and secretary, said that the company's appeal of the jury decision will be based on erroneous patent claim construction. "Vonage relied on open-standard, off-the-shelf technology when developing its service," she said.

News source: InternetNews

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