Verizon Wireless won a patent suit against Vonage that found the VoIP provider had infringed on three of the wireless carrier's patents, including one for VoIP over WiFi that might mean trouble for Vonage's recently announce deal with EarthLink for voice over WiFi. The ruling requires Vonage to pay Verizon $58 million, but since the court determined Vonage's infringement wasn't on purpose the figure is considerably scaled back from Verizon's asked for $197 million in damages. In addition to the damages, Vonage will have to pay Verizon a royalty of 5.5 percent of its future revenue for any continuing infringement.
Telecom analyst Jeff Kagan told FierceWireless "this ruling does not mean the end of VoIP or anything, and it's not going to put anybody out of business." What it will do is tighten things up a bit between POTS and VoIP service providers. Kagan also said he's not sure about the ramifications of the ruling on the Vonage-EarthLink deal: "We're going to have to wait and see."
For more on the Vonage-Verizon patent suit:
- read this WSJ article (sub. req.)