Earlier this year, telecom industry observers anticipated the demise of Internet phone service provider Vonage, as it got sued by Verizon, AT&T and Sprint Nextel.
In October, Vonage surprised everyone by settling the last of the lawsuits and it seemed to gain a second life. There was more bad news last Friday, however, as Canadian phone equipment maker Nortel Networks sued Vonage, claiming that it violated nine patents.
A Nortel spokesman said the lawsuit countered claims made by Vonage that Nortel had violated three of its patents.
Vonage was dragged into a legal battle after it acquired three patents from Digital Packet Licensing last year, according to Vonage spokesman Charles Sahner. DPL had filed a suit against Nortel in 2004 alleging violation of those three patents, so Vonage continued with the lawsuit. "Litigation is ongoing, and both parties have filed - and will continue to file - papers supporting their case," Sahner said. On the possibility of a settlement, he said: "We always prefer to settle disputes amicably whenever possible."
In this particular case, Vonage is pursuing the legal action, rather than getting sued. Sahner said Nortel's countersuit was a defensive move. (info from The Associated Press)