Vonage may have alternative to disputed patents

Vonage said it may have technology that could rescue its Internet-phone service, after a jury found the company infringed patents that allow customers to call standard telephones.

"We will begin rolling these workarounds out shortly, hopefully in the next few weeks, and we believe they will work," Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Citron said on a conference call today as the Holmdel, New Jersey-based company reported a narrower first-quarter loss.

Vonage shares have plunged 80 percent since the company went public a year ago. Citron's remarks pushed the stock up 11 percent today on optimism that Vonage can stay in business if the new technology eliminates future patent fights with Verizon Communications.

Vonage's new technology can be installed through software downloads and shouldn't be costly to deploy, Citron said. The company will continue to appeal the court decision that requires it to pay Verizon damages for infringing patents on technology that translates Internet-based calls to standard lines.

News source: Bloomberg

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