Nortel sues Vonage over Internet phone patents

Nortel Networks, the Canadian maker of telecom equipment, filed a lawsuit against Vonage, claiming that it violated nine patents related to internet phone services and related features such as 911 and 411 calling and click to call, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report quoted Nortel spokesman Mohammed Nakhooda as saying that the lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Delaware, countered claims made by Vonage that Nortel had violated three of its patents.

Vonage Holdings was dragged into the legal battle after it acquired three patents from Digital Packet Licensing (DPL) last year, according to Vonage spokesman Charles Sahner.

DPL had filed a suit against Nortel in 2004 alleging violation of those three patents, so Vonage continued with the lawsuit, the Associated Press report said.

On the possibility of a settlement, he said: 'We always prefer to settle disputes amicably whenever possible.'

In this particular case, Vonage is pursuing the legal action, rather than getting sued. Sahner said Nortel's countersuit was a defensive move, the report said.

In October, Vonage settled the last of its lawsuits with the major US telecom companies, the report said.