AT&T Sues Vonage
In this case, Vonage is being charged with violating U.S. Patent No. 6,487,200. Titled "Packet Telephone System," the patent describes how calls are compressed into data form in short packets.
That makes three major carriers to kick Vonage when its down. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) was the pioneer back in March when it sued Vonage for $58 million for violating three technology patents. Vonage was found guilty by a U.S. District Court and later lost its appeal. One of those patents in question was remanded to the district court and is still pending a decision. (See Vonage Ordered to Pay $58M to Verizon and Vonage Loses Verizon Appeal.)
Separately, Vonage settled a patent dispute with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) for $80 million. (See Vonage Soars on Sprint Settlement.)
Vonage's stock fell nearly 20 percent in after-hours trading last Friday, and shares were down 15 cents (9.8%) at $1.39 in late morning trading today.
While the lawsuits can hardly be considered good news, Vonage appears well prepared to deal with its situation, as it has more than $300 million in reserve cash as of June 30.
— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading