Verizon Wins Patent Case Against Vonage; Now Pushing To Shut Down Vonage Service

from the hurray-for-innovation dept

Following yesterday's request by Verizon that Vonage pay nearly $200 million for actually innovating while Verizon sat on the sidelines, a jury has sided with Verizon, and told Vonage to pay up. They didn't go all the way, however, finding Vonage only violated some patents, and saying the fine should be $58 million and 5.5% of future service revenue. Verizon, however, has also asked the judge to issue an injunction to shut down Vonage's service. Given the recent MercExchange/eBay Supreme Court decision hopefully the judge will realize that an injunction isn't reasonable here. Vonage, of course, will appeal, so this is anything but over. What will likely happen, though, is that Vonage will just settle the case, because at some point it's just cheaper to settle than to fight. Apparently, that's what you get for innovating as a small company these days.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    a, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 2:49pm

    Innovative marketing maybe, nothing else.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Mattva01, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 2:52pm

    Ouch

    Well I use Vonage, so I'd be really pissed if it got shut down.

     

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  3.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Mar 8th, 2007 @ 3:03pm

    Re:

    Innovative marketing maybe, nothing else.

    And that's not important? What's important is what brings the net benefit to the world, and that takes marketing as well.

    Apple's innovations have mostly been in marketing, not technology -- and yet no one claims they're not innovative. Innovation involves a combination of factors, of which the technology is only one part.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Jerk, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 4:54pm

    Well, Verizon still sucks

    And I, for one, will be sticking to my total boycott on all Verizon products. I'm also a Vonage customer.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 5:27pm

    @ Mike

    Yes because the first commercially available mouse and GUI are "marketing" innovations.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    me, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 5:40pm

    i think he was referring to more recent developments (iPod maybe?)

     

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  7.  
    icon
    Richard Bennett (profile), Mar 8th, 2007 @ 6:01pm

    Re: Apple sucks

    The first commercially available mouse and GUI were sold by Xerox.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Wolf0579, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 6:03pm

    Verizon

    Again, I'm happy to have left Verizon two years ago... I got sick of over-billing as a standard business practice. Now I have further reason to never do business with them in the future.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 6:05pm

    re: the Mouse

    Yeah, ya dolt! The first commercially available mouse came almost two decades after it was invented.

    Even before you shot yourself in the foot, Mike had a point that we often don't learn early: marketing is important.

    I will say that marketing is important in its own place, but consider: without marketing, you're just a lonely guy in an abandoned storefront sitting on what may be the greatest invention ever to be never even noticed.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Bill Thornton, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 7:31pm

    Re: re: the Mouse

    Well, i for one found that Vonage has its good and bad points. Good rate for service but their customer care dept is staffed with children and 3rd world country immigrants with a combined IQ of 7. Which makes dealing with a simple fucked-up router turn in to a 4 hour bitch session over the phone about who knows more about what.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Mark, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 7:34pm

    Re: Well, Verizon still sucks

    Which Verizon are you speaking of?

    Ameritech?
    GTE?
    Bell Atlantic?
    All other gobbled up markets?

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Mark, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 7:35pm

    Re: Re: re: the Mouse

    IQ of 7? If tech the tech support you are speaking with has an IQ of 7, and it takes 4 hours to deal with a router issue, who should be bitching about who?

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Bill, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 7:44pm

    Verizion

    When they purchased Ameritech Mobile, I quit their service. Never regretted it, and have since started boycotting just about all things big!

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    EdB, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 10:53pm

    Re: Re:

    Innovative marketing IS important, but it doesn't justify stealing IP.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Todd Henkel, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 11:38pm

    Customer Service?

    For those complaining about customer service from one of the lowest rate providers, what do you expect? No hold times into a customer service rep with 20 years experience?

    Don't pay for McDonald's if you are expecting to be waited on as in a five star restaurant.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Chris, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 11:55pm

    *Sigh*

    Yes, the first GUI was made by Xerox, and almost all of apple's "innovation" can be attributed to the work of others. And as far as that "4 hour" router problem, read the damn manual. You plug it in, they get automatic IP's and you take the ethernet cable that comes with vonage and you plug into the back of the router. If that takes 4 hours for you to figure out then the only person you should be complaining to is yourself.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    tomthree, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 12:26am

    innovation

    The innovation here is created by AUTHOR of these patents.

    If Vonage truly infringed on these patents, the jury did the right thing by protecting and enforcing the ownership of this intellectual property .

    This protection is what makes the United States a leader for ideas and innovation.

    Another fundemental difference betwen the US and China.

     

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  18.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Mar 9th, 2007 @ 2:57am

    Re: innovation

    The innovation here is created by AUTHOR of these patents.

    It's not innovation if it's obvious and the company doesn't do anything with it. It may be an "invention" but the patent system is supposed to promote innovation, not invention.


    If Vonage truly infringed on these patents, the jury did the right thing by protecting and enforcing the ownership of this intellectual property .


    By taking out the market leader to leave it for the high cost provider with the worse service? I don't see how that's a good thing for anyone.

    This protection is what makes the United States a leader for ideas and innovation.

    Someone sold you a line and you bought it, but this simply isn't true.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    jj, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 3:13am

    I come up with so many innovative inventions only to find that someone has already patented them with failed products. The products however failed due to cheap workmanship and bad marketing.

    I thought up the ideas on my own, but I have no right to create the as someone else patented them. How is that right. its not like I stole their idea.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    KevinG79, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 6:08am

    BULLSHIT

    This is total bullshit and I am so sick of yet another big bad phone company giant getting their way. Patent infringements my ass. Vonage has done nothing but create a brilliant telephone service that people like me can actually..AFFORD. And the big bad assholes at the giant telco's just can't STAND to see some competition so they make up some BS about patents??? Obviously this judge was paid off. Times like these I really wish I was a judge. I would have kicked Verizon in the balls and told them to stop wasting my time.

    Verizon is getting just as greedy and evil as the RIAA.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 6:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You mean patent violation. No theft of any property occurred. Granting broad and obvious patents is not justified.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 6:24am

    Re: innovation

    Quote from the Verizon lawyer: "Patents encourage and protect innovations that benefit consumers, create jobs, and keep the economy growing"

    Exactly where is the innovation from Verizon that benefits consumers, creates jobs and keep the economy growing? It was Vonage that benefited consumers, created jobs and kept the economy growing.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    tom, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 6:50am

    ownership

    the true owner/s of any product or service should have the right to do what every they chose to do with there product or services.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 6:56am

    Apple's innovations

    I guess Steve Wozniak should be happy reading all this nonsense from Mike and other "techidiocy" commenters...
    Never mind Apple is now one of the biggest patent pirates... Well this is the end of evolutions for all those big tech companies, Apple is no exception .

    Get a life Mike, you are probably good at PR but nothing else.
    Leave invention and innovation to others

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 10:50am

    its obviously no innovative for that small company if they stole verizons idea

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Chris, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 10:51am

    Re: Apple's innovations

    "Get a life Mike"

    Im just curious what your definition of "life" is?

    Considering Mike has what appears to be a very successful career, due to a borad education, I fail to see how you're in any position to be giving him advice.

    As far as Vonage goes they offered VoIP services, which in it's bare elements is just another way of transfering data over the internet. If Verizon holds that patent, then what the hell are they doing offering phone service anyway, they could collect the royalties and make billions more.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 11:00am

    Mike's education

    "Considering Mike has what appears to be a very successful career, due to a borad education..."

    Are you serious or just making fun of the poor Mike ?

    On too many occasions Mike has shown absolute ignorance of:
    1) intellectual property laws
    2) basics of economics
    3) technology matters

    So where is his " borad education" exactly ?
    Public relations BS ? Political propaganda ?

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Robert Martin, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 11:17am

    Raising Money

    No wonder Vonnage gave me a really good deal to pay a year in advance!!! Too bad I did...

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    KB, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Marketing

    Xerox invented GUI and mouse. Not Apple. Yes, Apple successfully marketed it. So, yes, marketing, not innovation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, Mar 10th, 2007 @ 3:19am

    Apple Mice

    Apple did not even keep up with mouse development. How many years did it take for them to improve from using one-button mice? Even on modern mice on Macs, they are oftem set up for both left and right mouse to act as the primary mouse button (I am talking about the demo macs in IT shops and the ones around the CS department at Uni. On my account I changed to use right mouse as secondary mouse.) The use of one-button mice must have held back FPSs on Macs for years, since even with WSAD controls, you still run out of buttons if you need some for Alt Fire. Forwards the nine-button mouse!

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    old_cynic, Mar 20th, 2007 @ 3:55am

    which patents were infringed?

    before leaping to either side I'd like to read teh infringed patents to see what was invented and what was stolen.

    Anyone know the patent numbers?

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2007 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Raising Money

    I saw the pay in advance great bargain, in my e-mail, and had just heard about the Vonage problem. I thought the same thing. Great time to offer such a great rate savings. I don't pay anything in advance anyway. Too much instability and etc.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    jesse, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Re: re: the Mouse

    well, lets try not to discriminate 3rd world contries nor immigrant here and outside our country. Do you think this huge conglomerates don't know what they are doing especially in outsourcing ther customer service abroad. They do know that they are as skilled as us. perhaps better because they do have proper education than most of us the only difference is that they may not as proficient in english language than us but they do know how to handle customers even better because they have manners. I do call customer service from time to time and I find it obvious that they know how to repect people even over the phone. Bill, what I can say to you is that perhaps you did find a customer service representative who may have the same attitude as you do. That's why you are pissed off at them. I suggest try to be humble and nice and I'm telling it will make your life easy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Mike, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 5:29pm

    Re: Re: re: the Mouse

    Bill, if you do feel that way Imagine how they think of you? they might be thinking if you are smarter than them then why call them and not just solve your own problem. Do not blame them for something you do not understand nor something you cannot resolve on your own. Work with them instead so your can have your problem resolved.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Steve, Apr 6th, 2007 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Well damn, if Apple doesn't, then name a successful company that DOES innovate (technologically). Let's just keep going until we can all say "that wasn't done before". You wont find one. Maybe you should look up the definition of of the word.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Brian Jerome, Apr 9th, 2007 @ 11:32am

    Who Knows What The Patents Were????

    Does anyone know what these patents are? I mean the actual patents? Any ideas? All I can find is stuff that does not actually mention what it was.......we offer voip services as well, but I don't think we are violating any patents.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    unni, Apr 19th, 2007 @ 9:58am

    Re: Who Knows What The Patents Were????

    6,104,711
    6,359,880
    6,282,574


    http://blogs.zdnet.com/ip-telephony/?p=1517

    :-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    third world person, Apr 19th, 2007 @ 6:40pm

    Re: Re: re: the Mouse

    coming from a first world country does not make you any smarter than a person coming from a third world country. you may have all the conveniences that can make you do almost everything, but that does not make you any more smarter. if you cannot make "a simple fucked-up router" work, what does that tell me about you? -- that you know less.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    cheap battery, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 11:51pm

    battery

    I do call customer service from time to time and I find it obvious that they know how to repect people even over the phone. Bill, what I can say to you is that perhaps you did find a customer service representative who may have the same attitude as you do. That's why you are pissed off at them. I suggest try to be humble and nice and I'm telling it will make your life easy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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