We reported earlier that Vonage had lost a patent infringement case brought by Verizon Communications when the trial court ruled that Vonage had infringed three Verizon patents, and awarded $58 million in damages to Verizon plus a percentage of future revenue proceeds.
Vonage appealed the case and the Appellate Court sent the case back to the lower court for a new trial on one of the patent infringement findings and a redetermination of the damages award, since it was unclear in the lower court’s ruling how the damages were to be divided.
Vonage has again asked the Appeals Court to revisit its most recent ruling that upholds two of the three patent infringement findings in the case. Vonage is again claiming that the two Verizon patents it was found to be infringing can be fixed to be non-infringing by a workaround, thus enabling Vonage to lessen its potential damages and to continue to conduct its business by using the workaround process. This request comes on the heels of Vonage having lost a patent infringement case to Sprint-Nextel for patent infringement of six Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) patents, where Vonage was ordered to pay $69.5 million to Sprint-Nextel plus a percentage of future revenue proceeds. Vonage and Sprint-Nextel have since settled the patent dispute by Vonage’s agreement to pay Sprint-Nextel a total of $80 million.
The two companies have entered into a licensing arrangement that allows Vonage to use patents for voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, technology that is held by Sprint-Nextel. Vonage has announced that the $80 million settlement includes $35 million for past use of the Sprint-Nextel VoIP license, $40 million for a fully paid future VoIP license and a prepayment of $5 million for services from Sprint-Nextel.
It seems that Vonage is asking the appellate court to reconsider the two counts of patent infringement it found in Verizon’s favor so that Vonage can cut a deal on the $58 million judgment and damages awarded to Verizon since Vonage was able to work out its judgment awarded to Sprint-Nextel. The Court of Appeals receives thousands of requests for appellate review and grants very few appeals.
It will be interesting to see if the Court of Appeals opts to reconsider the Verizon judgment.