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Court bars Vonage from signing up new customers

'Cutting off oxygen as opposed to a bullet in the head'

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Vonage is not allowed to sign up new customers while it appeals a court ruling that it infringed three Verizon patents. This is the price the VoiP telephony provider must pay for gaining some breathing space in its appeal against an injunction from using technology "owned" by Verizon.

Vonage asked the trial judge to reconsider the ban. Vonage lawyer Roger Warin said the ruling is "like cutting off oxygen as opposed to a bullet in the head [which would] in effect slowly strangle Vonage," he said, Bloomberg reports. The firm is certain to appeal this ruling, the newswire says.

Last month, a federal jury in Alexandria, Virginia found that Vonage should pay $58m and 5.5 per cent royalties to Verizon for infringing its patents. U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton issued a permanent injunction against Vonage, agreeing with Verizon that its business would suffer irreperable harm, if Vonage was allowed to conduct business as usual.

Vonage says it used "open-standard, off-the-shelf technology when developing its service" and that the court evidence failed to prove otherwise. ®

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