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VoIP Service Provider Vonage Denied Retrial in Patent Case
[May 04, 2007]

VoIP Service Provider Vonage Denied Retrial in Patent Case

TMCnet Web Editor
The U.S. Court of Appeals has denied a request by Vonage (News - Alert) for a retrial in the patent infringement dispute with Verizon, leaving the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service provider’s fate squarely in the hands of the court now hearing the case, according to a number of online and newspaper reports.

Earlier this week, Vonage asked the Court of Appeals to order a retrial of the case and overturn a March  8 verdict ordering Vonage to pay Verizon (News - Alert) $58 million in damages, plus future royalties, for infringing three of Verizon’s patents. Vonage had based its retrial request on a landmark Supreme Court patent ruling Monday that introduced a new legal standard making it possible to rule patents invalid because they are deemed obvious.
According to reports, the U.S. Court of Appeals said Vonage could cite the Supreme Court ruling in appealing the previous verdict. However, it would not retry the case.
Vonage now has to hope the court takes into consideration the loosened legal standard as well as its claim the original verdict was based on was based on an erroneous claim construction, according to Vonage executive vice president and chief legal officer Sharon O'Leary in a statement last month.
For now, Vonage’s future remains tentative despite a recent stay of a court injunction that would have denied the VoIP service provider from signing up new customers.
Last week, Vonage cut 200 employees, or 10% of its workforce, as part of a restructuring announced last month as the company’s finances have come under pressure.
Spencer Chin is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
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