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Vonage has workaround plan

Embattled internet telephony provider Vonage may have solved two of the three patent issues presently putting the company at risk of closure.

Speaking at the company’s first quarter financial results announcement on Thursday, Jeffrey Citron, Vonage chairman, said: “We believe we have workable designs for the two name translation patents and intend to begin deploying the solution to our customers shortly.

“In addition, we are continuing our development of the workaround for the wireless patent,” he said.

Vonage has been on the ropes since being found guilty of infringing on VoIP patents owned by Verizon. The internet telephony company recently won a stay of injunction allowing it to keep signing up subscribers.

The company has consistently maintained it does not infringe on Verizon’s technology, contesting that the patents Verizon owns on VoIP technology are too far reaching. Citron on Thursday said the company will continue its fight in the courts.

Three VoIP-related patents, Verizon’s name translation (‘574 and ‘711) and wireless (‘880), are those in dispute.

But if Citron’s revelation of a workaround failed to lift investors’ spirits, the company’s financial results may have gone some way to easing the pain.

During the first quarter, Vonage’s narrowed its net loss to $72m, down from a net loss of $85m in the first quarter of 2006. Revenues grew 64 per cent to $196m, as the company added 166,000 net subscriber lines to take its total to 2.4 million.

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