Vonage gives assurance to customers in wake of Verizon lawsuit

Internet phone giant carrier Vonage assured its 2.2 million customers that their service will not be interrupted after losing a federal patent infringement lawsuit brought by competitor Verizon Communications, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said that an eight-member jury in US District Court found that Vonage infringed on three Verizon patents on technology for making phone calls over the Internet. Vonage was ordered to pay $58 million, plus future royalties if the infringement continues.

The judgment from the eight-person jury is far less than the $197 million Verizon had requested, and it was even slightly less than what Vonage had suggested would be fair if it were found liable, the report said.

But the big unanswered question is whether US District Judge Claude Hilton will impose an injunction barring Vonage from future use of the patents, the report said.

Verizon filed for such an injunction immediately after the verdict came down, and a hearing is scheduled for March 23, the report said.

Verizon says Vonage's service is heavily dependent on the Verizon technology, something Vonage disputes. Vonage said it will appeal the verdict and told customers that service will not be affected.