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Is This The Vonage Work-Around?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on March 29, 2007

Remember how Vonage said it will find a work-around around Verizon’s Web-calling patents? I wonder if this might be it.

A company called VoIP, which already provides Web-calling services to the likes of Google, just filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announcing an agreement to provide services to Vonage’s domestic customers. The document doesn’t say much except that VoIP’s subsidiary Voice One will provide services to Vonage for two years. The agreement, which comes less than a week after a judge issued an injunction, prohibiting Vonage from using Verizon’s technology, will be renewable on a month-to-month basis thereafter.

Here’s why I think this agreement is Vonage’s solution to avoiding paying Verizon patent royalty fees. Voice One allows for connecting Web calls to traditional phone networks. One of Verizon’s patents, which a jury said Vonage infringed, deals with exactly this issue. Verizon claimed know-hows to moving calls from the Web to traditional phone lines. With the Voice One agreement, guess what? This issue might be solved.

I am still waiting to hear from VoIP and Vonage to see if the agreement is, indeed, related to Vonage’s effort to find a work-around around Verizon’s technology. Will keep you posted.

Just heard from Vonage; they say it’s just another carrier deal for them… Are you hearing anything about what they are doing to accomplish a work-around?

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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