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Vonage shakes off patent disputes

Annus horribilis ends with Nortel agreement

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Vonage and Nortel have agreed to settle their patent differences with an exchange of licenses, and no money changing hands, ending a year of litigation for Vonage and clearing the decks before 2008.

Claims of damages, lodged during the dispute, have also been dropped. The patents involved were originally owned by Digital Packet Licensing, and cover emergency service connections and click-to-call technologies. Vonage bought that company, which had lodged a complaint against Nortel in 2004, and was itself subject to a counter-claim earlier this year.

The agreement follows a string of deals with AT&T, Sprint, Nextel and Verizon, all of whom have been involved in litigation with the company, though most of those involved Vonage paying the respective companies large amounts of money.

Now that those disputes are out of the way the VOIP company should be able to focus on building up its 2.7 million customer base, something it'll need to do if it's going to compete as a real telecommunications company.®

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