In a decision that can’t be good for the money-losing Internet phone provider, Vonage must pay Verizon $58 million in damages for infringing on three of Verizon’s patents, a federal jury ordered yesterday.
One of the patents dealt with wireless Internet phones. That’s sort of ironic, because no matter what anyone says, the last thing Verizon would want is for people to make Internet voice calls on their cell phones. This would mean consumers could use the same unlimited data plan they use to, say, watch mobile TV or access the Internet.
The benefit? You could make free calls all day and never touch your daytime minutes. In other words, don’t expect to be able to do this anytime soon, if the carriers have any say in it.
Vonage must also pay Verizon a 5.5% royalty going forward for any continuing infringement.