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The Vonage & VoIP Inc. deal mess

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Updated: Yesterday, I wrote about the Vonage-VoIP Inc., deal that seemed to be perfect for Vonage to get out from under Verizon’s thumb of death. A few publications and some Wall Street firms had pointed out that VoIP Inc., had some patents and cited a 8-K filing. Instead of checking the facts, I went along with what others were saying.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case. A few vigilant readers wrote in and prompted us to further investigate the claims in the previous Vonage-VoIP Inc. report. A Vonage spokeswoman in an email said:

The VoIP Inc. 8-K filing has caused much confusion in the marketplace. Vonage’s deal with the company is a termination deal, and is completely unrelated to the development of workarounds. Basically, VoIP Inc. is no different from any of the carrier partners Vonage utilizes to get inbound calls from the PSTN to customers, or vice versa, IP calls to the PSTN. Again, this deal is completely unrelated to the pending litigation between Vonage and Verizon.

So for this less-than-mediocre reporting, I would like to offer my apologies to the readers and hopefully learn from this episode.

10 Responses to “The Vonage & VoIP Inc. deal mess”

  1. Malik..voip inc and vonage almost a year are kind of testing and working on recent partnership.this vonage/verzine mess has nothing to do with their partnership.
    now if voip inc patents comes to help vonage that’s plus for both…

  2. steve gelmis


    While you are in a self-flagellating mood, I will avail myself of the opportunity to press you for some reporting which has been missing from every account I’ve seen on this story so far.

    There has been no actual technical explanation of what the 3 patents cover and what specific aspects of Vonage’s operations are deemed to violate them. Is that because it would be too geeky to be considered reporting? Do the reporters not understand it themselves? Does it require too much time to get the details?

    The reporting has all referred vaguely to something about the ‘method of interconnecting with the PSTN’ for two of the patents, and about voicemail for the third.

    Leaving voicemail aside for the moment, doesn’t Vonage use a softswitch + off-the-shelf media gateways to interconnect with the PSTN? (What other options are there?) Doesn’t that make every other VOIP carrier guilty of the same infringement as well? Where are the manufacturers of this equipment in this case? Don’t they have an interest in defending their customers, or at least challenging the patents with the PTO?

  3. Tammy Snook

    Your latest blog entry that apologizes for less-than-mediocre reporting cites,

    “A few vigilant readers wrote in and prompted us to further investigate ‘VoIP Inc.’s claims.'”

    There weren’t any claims from VoIP, Inc. related to pending litigation between Vonage and Verizon….

    You might want to revise your blog so that it’s accurate.