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Vonage wins temporary reprieve

Internet telephony player Vonage won itself some breathing space on Friday night, just hours after a US court ordered it to stop signing up new customers.

On Friday afternoon, the US District Court in Alexandria said it would enter injunction against Vonage on April 12 in connection with certain Verizon technology on which it was found to be infringing. In the meantime, Vonage was to cease signing up new customers.

But the VoIP operator managed to secure an emergency temporary stay from US Court of Appeals, allowing Vonage to continue to sign up new customers until the Appellate court can hear Vonage’s request for a permanent stay.

Vonage has been under fire from US telco Verizon for allegedly infringing on some of Verizon’s proprietary patents. But Vonage claims that it relied on open standard, off the shelf technology when developing its service.

A mysterious filing by rival US-based internet telephony operator, VoIP, Inc, with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, had led to speculation that Vonage had signed up to use a new backbone to carry its traffic and thus avoid litigation. But a Vonage spokesperson has since told telecoms.com that the deal with VoIP Inc is related to termination of calls and is in no way related to the current litigation in the Verizon case.

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