updated 03:30 pm EDT, Tue April 24, 2007
Vonage Appeal Succeeds
Vonage today earned a reprieve that will let it remain in business, a US federal judge has ruled. The Washington, D.C.-based Court of Appeals has made permanent a temporary stay against an earlier injunction that would have all but stifled the company by preventing it from signing up new customers as long as an earlier patent ruling against the company remained in place.
"In layman's terms, it means business as usual," said spokeswoman Brooke Schulz.
The change came in part after an uneasy 45-minute question-and-answer session with both the firm and its opponent Verizon in which both sides were asked to make their case, with neither side apparently gaining an upper hand until the decision was made. Verizon had asked government officials to prevent Vonage from continuing alleged patent infringement by running its phone service and had initially received support from judges in March.
Although the VoIP phone provider is still faced with paying a $58 million award to Verizon, the stay puts to rest rumors that the company would be forced to seek a last-ditch deal with Sprint or similar companies to avoid what would otherwise have been a likely shutdown.