December 17, 2007
Vonage just can’t catch a break these days and seems to be the target of more lawsuits related to patent infringements than just about any other company out there. The latest patent fight is with Nortel, a company who says Vonage is infringing on twelve of its patents.
``Defending our intellectual property rights is a top priority for Nortel,'' said Nortel spokesman Mohammed Nakhooda. ``That's why we are seeking damages and to put an injunction on the use of our technology with respect to Vonage.''
``The litigation is ongoing and both parties have filed and will continue to file papers,'' said Vonage spokesman Charles Sahner. Nortel's filing ``is a countersuit in defense.''
Generally speaking when a company becomes as high profile as Vonage they also have an arsenal of patents. These patents act as a defense against patent lawsuits as it is generally assumed that all large companies infringe on one another’s patents.
A large patent portfolio is like having nuclear weapons. In both cases, if you are attack, there will be mutually assured destruction.
I am of course speaking in generalities here… There are always exceptions like Alcatel-Lucent suing
Microsoft for $1.5 billion over MP3 technology.
What this news tells us is that Vonage will continue to be the communication industry’s punching bag. It has few if any patents to protect it and enough money to pay if you sue and win.