Vonage and Sprint settle patent dispute; Is Verizon next?

Summary:Vonage and Sprint said Monday that they have settled a pending patent dispute in a deal that's a rare bit of good news for the embattled VOIP provider. Vonage, which has been whacked by patent suits by Sprint and Verizon, said the settlement with Sprint is worth $80 million, including $35 million for past use of the license, $40 million for a paid-in-full future license and $5 million in prepayment for services.

Vonage and Sprint said Monday that they have settled a pending patent dispute in a deal that's a rare bit of good news for the embattled VOIP provider.

Vonage, which has been whacked by patent suits by Sprint and Verizon, said the settlement with Sprint is worth $80 million, including $35 million for past use of the license, $40 million for a paid-in-full future license and $5 million in prepayment for services.

The news comes just days after a jury found that Vonage infringed on six Sprint patents. The federal jury ruled that Vonage had to pay $69.5 million in damages to Sprint. According to the parties, Vonage will license Sprint's "Voice over Packet (VOP)" patent portfolio.

Sprint's VOP portfolio includes "more than 100 patents covering different methods, components and systems that efficiently connect telephone calls between a regular telephone network and a packet-switched network such as the Internet."

Sharon O'Leary, Vonage's general counsel, said in a statement that the settlement means the company can "put this litigation behind us and continue to focus on our core business by removing the uncertainty of legal reviews and long term court action."

That tone indicates a change from Vonage's strategy of appealing as long as possible.

Could a settlement with Verizon be next?

Topics: Legal, Enterprise Software, Telcos, Verizon

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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