Ruh roh, bad news for Vonage today. In one of the nearly ten million patent infringement suits
that we're closely following, a U.S. District judge has issued a permanent injunction against leading VoIP provider Vonage, barring the upstart telecom from using any technology protected by the three Verizon patents it has been convicted of infringing
. In response to the ruling, company execs issued a statement attempting to reassure customers and reiterate its intent to appeal, although that didn't stop panicked investors from pushing shares down 6.2% before trading was halted. Specifically, Vonage wants you to know that you "will not experience service interruptions or other changes as a result of this litigation," claiming that it expects to prevail in an appeals process which starts in two weeks. If District Judge Claude Hilton decides at that time to make the injunction effective, Vonage can still plead its case in front of the Federal Court of Appeals -- however, Hilton's analysis of the injunction's potential effects on both parties seems to squarely Verizon, which doesn't bode well for Vonage even in a higher court. In other words, there's no reason for Vonage users to start freaking out just yet, but if we were in your shoes, well, we might at least start window shopping for a new landline network.Read
- Vonage PR
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.