U.S. News

Vonage to Continue Using Verizon Patents Pending Appeal


Vonage Holdings said on Friday the company will be able to continue making full use of Verizon Communications patents for making phone calls over the Internet after winning temporary relief from an appeals court.

Earlier on Friday a lower court judge had barred Vonage from adding new customers while it appeals a finding that it infringed on Verizon's patents.

"We just learned, just now, from our legal counsel that we secured a temporary stay until (the appeals court) can hear our request for a permanent stay of that order," said Vonage spokeswoman Brooke Schulz.

U.S. equities markets were closed for the Good Friday holiday. Vonage shares closed down almost 7% on Thursday to $3.37 on the New York Stock Exchange ahead of the court hearing. Verizon shares rose 1% to $38 on the NYSE.

Judge Hilton announced on March 23 that he intended to issue an injunction blocking all use of Verizon's technology, sending Vonage shares down nearly 26 percent that day.

The judge gave Vonage two weeks to try to convince him to stay the injunction. Verizon then suggested the judge allow Vonage to keep servicing its existing customers if a stay was necessary.

On March 8, a jury found Vonage had infringed three patents owned by Verizon. The jury said Vonage must pay $58 million, plus 5.5 percent royalties on future sales.

Vonage stock has steadily lost value since its initial public offering at $17 a share in May last year. The shares posted an all-time closing low of $3 after Judge Hilton's March 23 hearing.