June 19, 2006
Vonage said today that it has been served with a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Verizon
. The lawsuit from Verizon Service Corp. and Verizon Laboratories Inc. alleges that Vonage infringed on seven patents related to VoIP technology. The timing of this lawsuit is more than suspicious. With Vonage facing lawsuits from its customers over its failed IPO
and its stock continuing a downward spiral, I'm wondering if this isn't simply Verizon going for the jugular while Vonage is down.
Already, the stock is down
7.92% ($8.84) today (Update: Broke the $8 barrier).
What sweet revenge Verizon could have - simply by hurting Vonage's stock - whether or not the lawsuit has any merit. Vonage more than any other VoIP company is responsible for bringing <$30/month unlimited voice calling to residential homes which absolutely
killed the RBOCs profit margins - forcing them to price match and get into the VoIP game much sooner than they would have liked.
I wouldn't be surprised if AT&T/SBC, and other telephone companies sue Vonage now that they are a public company. Certainly the phone companies have "deep pockets" to hurt Vonage. A few more hits to Vonage stock by the carriers using lawsuits will certainly bring utter glee
to the boardrooms of the large carriers. Revenge is a dish best served cold...