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Vonage future in doubt

The VoIP firm Vonage, this weekend confirmed that it has no workaround to deal with the recent Verizon patent spat.

The company said in a file, submitted to the courts Friday, that the Verizon patents cover such a breadth of technology, it is not sure a workaround is feasible.

Last month Vonage lost its patent dispute with Verizon and was ordered to pay it $58m (£30m) plus monthly royalties if it continues to use the proprietary patents. Immediately after the case, Vonage assured its 2.2 million customers that their service would not be affected by the outcome.

In a statement the company said: “While Vonage has studied methods for designing around the patents, removal of the allegedly infringing technology, if even feasible, could take many months to fully study and implement.”

The company has been embroiled in drama since its floatation last year. The company’s share price has dropped 80 per cent since then and last week Mike Snyder, the company’s CEO stepped down leaving its founder, Jeffrey Citron holding the reigns.

In its statement Friday the beleaguered company said that if it was “able to implement a design around, and was able to ultimately prevail on appeal, it would have no hope of regaining its lost customers, or its lost goodwill, and its loss of revenue would be permanent.” It added: “Current Vonage customers will not wait that long for restored service… Likewise, potential new customers will not even consider Vonage.”

The statement forms part of a 20-page document filed in response to a court order to prepare a public version of Vonage’s sealed comments.

Vonage UK has been asked to respond. A comment is expected after 2pm GMT Monday.

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