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4/17/2007
03:29 PM
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Vonage Says Its Chances Of Developing Patent 'Workarounds' Are Grim

Vonage also indicated that there's no assurance workarounds could ever be produced.

Still struggling on several fronts to remain in business, VoIP provider Vonage said in a new SEC report that its chances of developing a "workaround" to avoid paying Verizon Communications for use of Verizon's infringed patents would likely take several months. Vonage also indicated that there's no assurance workarounds could ever be produced.

Much of the 20-page report was redacted and blocked out, but it's clear that Vonage faces an uphill and perhaps impossible battle to create ways of avoiding infringing Verizon's broad spectrum of Internet telephony patents. The company lost a jury trial over the Verizon patents last month.

"Vonage currently has no workarounds that moot the need for a stay" in a pending ban on the use of its service, the Securities and Exchange Commission documents stated, according to a report in USA Today.

The SEC filing continued: "While Vonage has studied methods for designing around the patents, removing of the allegedly infringing technology, if even feasible, could take many months to fully study and implement."

The SEC report was dated last Friday. SEC reports, usually written by lawyers working to fend off potential stockholder suits, often take a worst-case approach in the documents. In its press releases, Vonage has said its service to subscribers will continue.

The company's stock has held up in recent days, indicating some sort of solution, including a takeover of its customers by another provider, might be eventually accomplished.

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