Vonage gets injunction stay made permanent
Still confident of victory, but squirreling away cash just in case
The US Court of Appeal has granted an indefinite stay on the injunction which threatened to prevent Vonage signing up new customers while its patent row with Verizon drags on - meaning the company might just remain viable.
Vonage has agreed to pay a 5.5 per cent royalty payment into escrow, as well as posting a $66m bond, which should cover its liability to Verizon if the case goes against it.
"We believe the original verdict was based on an erroneous claim construction - meaning the patents in this case were defined in an overly broad and legally unprecedented way," said Sharon O'Leary, Vonage's executive vice president, chief legal officer, and secretary.
An extension to the stay was essential if the company wasn't going to be driven out of business before the patent spat was over. VoIP services suffer very high churn rates, and if Vonage wasn't able to sign up new customers, there would be little left to sue by the time the case was settled. ®
consumers pay again...
One has to wonder why Verizon took so long to bring the case against Vonage. Should it be acceptable for a company to come up with a base concept, then do nothing with it and only complain when they feel there might be a nice earner in it for their bottom line?
The loser in this case is going to be the consumer once again. If the case is lost, no doubt Vonage will have to increase prices or go out of business. What happens with the new VOIP players who are undercutting/matching Vonage prices?
Without realistic competition, phone and cable companies will continue to charge what they feel like.
An example: - Charter offer on TV a combined phone/cable/internet package for $120. If you go into their office or listen to the radio then the same offer is only $90. That is a $360 SAVING on a 1 year OFFER !!!!!
Guess it pays to listen to radio rather than the higher priced tv advert......
Whilst not an ideal anology (because of size), OFCOM in the UK at least regulate BT's charges and have forced them to open up their networks to other providers...perhaps the US needs to look at this in the interest of the consumer.