Court upholds patent ruling against Vonage

For the second time in two days, Internet phone company Vonage Holdings was hit with bad legal news when a federal appeals court upheld a jury verdict and injunction against it for patent infringement, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said a Virginia jury had awarded Verizon Communications $58 million in damages in March plus 5.5% royalties on future revenues after finding that Vonage violated three Verizon patents in building its Internet phone system.

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which hears patent cases from around the country, partially upheld the March verdict, directing the trial court to reconsider the verdict on one of the three patents, the report said.

It also remanded the damages and royalty awards for the lower court to decide.

The awards were remanded because the lower court did not specify which portion of the damages was attributable to which patent, Blair Levin, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus, quoted by the Associated Press report, said.

The appeals court found that the district court improperly construed part of the third patent, which involves wireless access to VoIP service.

The injunction has been stayed pending resolution of Vonage's appeal, the report further said.