updated 04:25 pm EDT, Tue September 25, 2007
Vonage to pay Sprint
Beleaguered VoIP carrier Vonage must pay Sprint Nextel at least $69.5 million, a federal court judge has ruled. The Associated Press writes that Vonage has been found guilty of infringing on six telecommunications patents, and must now pay Sprint damages as well as a five percent royalty on future revenues. Sprint first sued Vonage in 2005; at the time, the case involved a full seven patents, all relating to VoIP technlogy. Vonage denied any wrongdoing -- not for having broken the patents, however, but by saying that the patents were faulty and should not have been granted in the first place.
The jury verdict states that Vonage deliberately violated the patents, and so may have to pay triple the current damages if judge John Lungstrum agrees with the decision. Such a ruling could inflict lethal damage to the company, which has been struggling financially and lost another lawsuit to Verizon earlier in the year. There a jury decided that Verizon was owed $58 million, plus 5.5 percent in royalties.