It was definitely not as bad as it could have been, but Vonage
just got slapped with a $58 million fine after being found guilty of violating three of Verzion's patents
for connecting VoIP calls to the regular circuit-switched telephone network. The big question now is whether Verizon will be able to get an injunction barring Vonage subscribers from using Verizon's technology to make phone calls to regular phone lines. Vonage is already appealing the verdict, but if it stands they'd either have to develop a non-infringing workaround, pay a 5.5% royalty on any revenue derived from using Verizon's technology (assuming Verizon even allows it), or cut off service to all 2.2 million of its customers (they'd still be able to make VoIP calls to other Vonage subscribers, but who'd stick around for that?).
*Verizon has acquired AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.