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Vonage disruptions due to patent judgment

Vonage disruptions due to patent judgment

Old Mar 24, 07, 10:54 pm
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Vonage disruptions due to patent judgment

I know Vonage management has stated there will be no disruptions to customers due to the judgment that the breached the patent for VoIP technology held by Verizon, but can any FTers give me a reality check on this. Our only home phone and my wife's business line is on Vonage.

Does Verizon really own VoIP technology patents? Doesn't that preclude any of the other VoIP providers from providing VoIP service? I don't much about this topic.
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Old Mar 25, 07, 5:40 am
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Well, the court has ruled Vonage in violation of Verizon's patenets, so I guess that decision has been made. Further, a court has issued an injunction against vonage continuing to use the infringing technology.

My understanding is that Verizon's patents cover the besic technology by which any VOIP service connects to the POTS system, as defined in published standards for this. So if Vonage gets hit others will get hit.

A bit more info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vonage#Verizon_lawsuit

My home phone's on Vonage. I'm actually more concerned about losing the number (going on 20 years with this number).
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Old Mar 25, 07, 6:01 am
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IMHO, this rather transparent attempt by a big monopoly in a dying business (landlines) to put a new competitor out of business is not likely to end in success for Verizon.

I agree with the Vonage statement that the Ct of Appeals will almost certainly stay the injunction pending appeal. By the time there is a final decision, several years down the line, Vonage will probably have taken over Verizon.

By the way, even if Verizon was finally able to enforce what it claims to be its patents, IMHO, there would compusory licensing of those patents to all competition.
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Old Mar 25, 07, 8:04 am
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Originally Posted by biggestbopper View Post
By the way, even if Verizon was finally able to enforce what it claims to be its patents, IMHO, there would compusory licensing of those patents to all competition.
Who has the authority to compel that?
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Old Mar 25, 07, 3:19 pm
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Originally Posted by redburgundy View Post
Who has the authority to compel that?
The Federal Government can, and has in some cases, nullified patents in the national interest. Im not sure that would be relevent here, the only case(s) I know about are much more extreme. However, I doubt that the FCC would let Verizon use the patents to create monopoly.
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Old Mar 27, 07, 11:59 am
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Actually, the jury's verdict was infringement on 3 of 5 patents only, and a 5.5% royalty if there was no injunction. However, the injunction was granted.

For those of you with pro-Vonage optimism -- What's the basis for it?
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Old Mar 27, 07, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by CO FF View Post
Actually, the jury's verdict was infringement on 3 of 5 patents only, and a 5.5% royalty if there was no injunction. However, the injunction was granted.

For those of you with pro-Vonage optimism -- What's the basis for it?
I have to agree; I would be far more concerned with Vonage shutting down for lack of money than for patents in the near future. Not saying either is imminent, but Vonage will need to make a profit at some point to stay in business.

Steve
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