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Summary:

Despite the circlings of bad-news vultures and grave dancers, upstart Voice over IP provider Vonage isn’t knocked out yet, despite several legal bloodyings in its patent fight with telco giant Verizon. Where we are at now: Vonage can continue with business as usual, thanks to a […]

Despite the circlings of bad-news vultures and grave dancers, upstart Voice over IP provider Vonage isn’t knocked out yet, despite several legal bloodyings in its patent fight with telco giant Verizon.

Where we are at now: Vonage can continue with business as usual, thanks to a temporary stay granted by the U.S. Court of Appeals. The next big day on the legal calendar for Vonage is April 24, with oral arguments at the appeals court where the judge will decide whether or not the stay should be permanent, or whether the (lower) District Court’s injunction to keep Vonage from signing up new customers would stand. Either way, Vonage will be moving to appeal the original ruling that found it in violation of three Verizon patents. But the stay is the big item right now.

What happened recently: For starters, Vonage gave its CEO the heave-ho, and is waiting to report its quarterly numbers until the patent mess comes to some kind of resolution.

Why is there a patent mess? In part, because the VoIP industry wasn’t paying attention.

What might happen next? Could a successful Verizon start taking on other VoIP providers, especially the cablecos, whose numbers of VoIP customers already have passed Vonage’s? Some say it might happen, though some of our sources say providers like Comcast have their own rich patent portfolio (think video over phone lines) to trump any legal poker-playing by Verizon.

Our ongoing coverage of Vonage and Verizon can be found here.

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  1. It’s interesting how Verizon is still living in the 1990’s technology-wise, then goes after the competition AFTER losing their customers to the updated technologies which Verizon ISN’T providing!
    I am in a hi-tech office community in which Verizon can’t/won’t provide hi-speed services.
    1. dial-up has never gotten beyond 26.4
    2. Never had ISDN
    3. Can’t get DSL
    4. Not likely to see FiOS for several years.
    5. dedicated lines are cost prohibitive.

    Yet Verizon choses to continue to make it difficult to obtain alternative solutions.

    It should be interesting to see them attempt to take on Comcast, Time-Warner, & SBC

  2. Jeffrey Brown Saturday, April 28, 2007

    I think that Vonage has a real good service going and Verizon needs to get up to date. I think if Verizon took some time to understand the up to date technology, the great deals being offered to consumers, and the quality of the service that Vonage is offering. Then, Verizon could get some more innovative ideas to help their revenue increase. I think it would be a good idea if vonage and verizon merged and came up with a business strategy to increase the quality of there services for the consumers. In which will increase the revenue for both companies. Happy customers would lead to Happy companies. Instead of Verizon trying to take them down. Just doesn’t look good to me. I have both services but if Vonage where to come up with a wireless service, I more than likely would leave verizon even though I have longevity with verizon. It really doesn’t matter because I really am happy with my Vonage phone servies. I am military and I’m stationed overseas. Vonage made it possible for me to keep intouch with my family in the states everyday. And my friends all over the world. For that I am grateful. I am going to continue to use Vonage even when I return to the states because I am so pleased with their services.

  3. GigaOM Vonage: The Last Stand « Monday, June 25, 2007

    [...] Vonage, the beleaguered VoIP service provider is in court today, trying to defend its position that it doesn’t infringe on Verizon’s patents. If Vonage loses, then things get really tough for the company, which [...]

  4. Surprise! Limelight Will Appeal Akamai’s $45.5M Patent Win – GigaOM Friday, February 29, 2008

    [...] to Washington’s U.S. Court of Appeals. For a program guide to how this may play out, see our previous coverage of the Verizon/Vonage patent lawsuit. Share/Send Sphere Print Previous [...]

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