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Sprint Wants $103 Million From Vonage
Vonage 'could not exist' without us, says lawyer...
by Karl Bode 06:44PM Wednesday Sep 05 2007
Back in 2005 Sprint sued Vonage, and is seeking cash compensation and a court order to stop Vonage from using six patents. Speaking to jurors in the opening statement of the patent trial, Sprint lawyers insisted that Vonage should be forced to pay $103 million, according to the Asbury Park Press:
"Vonage has made over a billion dollars using Sprint's technology," B. Trent Webb of Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP told the jury Tuesday. Without Sprint's inventions, "Vonage as a company could not exist," Webb said. . .Sprint, based in Reston, Va., is entitled to a 7 percent royalty for its inventions, Webb said. Based on Vonage's historical revenue of $1.3 billion and interest, damages total $103 million, he said.
So far no word on an April rumor that had Sprint potentially buying the independent VoIP operator.

topics flat nest 

Tavistock NJ

1 edit

IF Sprint wins $103m they'd own Vonage

If Sprint would actually win this suit, they would potentially own Vonage if Vonage couldn't get cash from somewhere. Vonage's market capitalization is $316m and their long term debt is $276m. If they lose, Sprint won't have to buy Vonage, they'll own them.
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Canadian, eh?

Valencia, CA

Re: IF Sprint wins $103m they'd own Vonage

That's probably in their best interest as well...

1. They win - then they practically 'own' Vonage - and will deploy it with Xohm or Sprint EVDO and cut out the cost of switched service.
Canada = Hollywood North


Orange, CA

Re: IF Sprint wins $103m they'd own Vonage

I agree, this will be good for both company and consumer. Plus this will go nicely with there WIMAX offering.

Avon, OH

so what

so what did they offer? Why are they owed money? Are they not paying bills over at vonage?
Help me get free trades.3 free if you sign up, $7 after. PM Me

Mount Joy, PA

How many companies...

own the patents Vonages uses? I thought Verizon claimed the patents?
"Where's my coffee? Oh. I guess it's my turn to make it."

Naples, FL

Re: How many companies...

said by Jovi:

own the patents Vonages uses? I thought Verizon claimed the patents?
That's what I thought as well. It was just recent as well.

West Orange, NJ
Yeah, like the patent office won't issue duplicate patents...

The Wonder Kitter
Missoula, MT

1 recommendation

Sprint = POS Vonage = YAY

LOL, hey sprint, instead of ripping of the customer's and providing a piece of shit product, and giving yourselves payraises, and trying to destroy a credit to the Internet, why not jump off the roof of your corporate headquarters and that goes to all of Sprint's Management.
"The World is but a drop in the sea of time and space, and I am the current that flows through it" -Yuu Tomo (21st Century)
Expand your moderator at work

Mark for moderation
Michigan City, IN

Owe me.

Come to think of it, Vonage owes me some money to..I think I'll sue them for 200million.

It's the American way after all..

Free range slave
Smithfield, NC

Re: Owe me.

First you'd need to spam the patent office with a bunch of obvious patents on things like sending voice over the internet. That's how the big money prevents competition.


Chandler, AZ


If Sprint were to buy them it would go to crap.
Lets look at their wireless division for example

Can you imaging dropping calls on your home phone LOL



1 recommendation

Re: Sprint=Crap

Nope because I don't drop calls from NC to South FL..?

Sprint SERO 1250 Anytime Minutes, N&W 7pm, Unl M2M, Unl Data, Unl Txt, Unl Pic/Vid Mail.. $49.99 before corp discount.

WRTSL54GS v2 + WRT54G v2
Shoot to kill
Toledo, OH

Re: Sprint=Crap

Very nice.

I'm in the process of ordering a SERO equipped Mogul right now. I already have an A900 which I used extensively in Hawaii, averaging speeds of around 500 Kbps / 128 Kbps (faster than my hotel's WiFi). I also just recently got rid of my Sprint PPC-6700.

Moral of the story? Sprint has always treated me well. In my experience, they beat the heck out of the competition for both voice and mobile data (trust me, I've sampled many other wireless offerings).

Fun fact: The company I work for supplies almost all of their cellular towers with backhaul here in the Northwest Ohio region. I often stare at the two little fibers (OC-192 I believe) that their towers all mux into with an evil gleam in my eye...

- Tate

Happiness is an OC-48 in your basement...


Clinton Township, MI
said by openupshop:

If Sprint were to buy them it would go to crap.
Lets look at their wireless division for example

Can you imaging dropping calls on your home phone LOL
Now that's funny. Sunrocket and most other VoIP providers already do that.. so it would nothing new to sprint..


YaThink the ILECS are soiling their panties

Ya think the ILECS are soiling their panties worrying about what Vonage and other VoIP carriers are going to do their fatted calf?

LOL. They can't continue to survive without suing on QUESTIONABLE patents.

I love it.

Miami, FL

Re: YaThink the ILECS are soiling their panties

said by YaThink :

Ya think the ILECS are soiling their panties worrying about what Vonage and other VoIP carriers are going to do their fatted calf?

LOL. They can't continue to survive without suing on QUESTIONABLE patents.

I love it.
That's what I was thinking too.

Ocala, FL

WiMAX funding

Now we know where Sprint was planning on getting WiMAX funding

Brooklyn, NY
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

Whose patents?

Any overlap of Sprint's alleged patent claims with Verizon's (apparently) successful judgment against Vonage?

Somehow Verizon is getting Sprint to do it's dirty work all over again.. weird. Not that I care.. Vonage is one of the TOP arrogant VOIP companies who all-but MADE THEMSELVES A TARGET.

Target the retail store might even sue them for having the red/white smock Target logo on Vonage's back for so long...

Madison, WI

Re: Whose patents?

You all might want to check out the following "Patent Reform" bill and amendments. Last I checked, it is due for a vote on Friday.

BILL: » ··· 110-1908

AMENDMENTS: » ··· (hr314):

A nasty new patent 'reform' bill that was pretty much written by big business. I happened to catch part of the debate on C-Span.
Naperville, IL

Re: Whose patents?

What all is considered nasty in there?

Delta, OH

sound familiar

well.. not that verizon tried the same thing or anything like that... AT&T must be next in line.

Gainesville, GA

What does Sprint know about VOIP?

What patents would Sprint have that would effect Vonage VOIP technology??? Sprint wouldn’t know VOIP if it turned around and bit them in the RJ-45s! They don’t even know how to run a wire line phone business…they gave it all away to EmChuck!
Oh wait a minute I do remember some patents form long ago like the DO-Da-DEE “If you would like to make a call, please hang up and try again” and the famous DO-Da-DEE “All circuits are busy now” and the most recent one “If you would like to continue to hold for a customer service representative”

Lake Zurich, IL


Until we change to a "loser pays" system for lawsuits, companies will continue this ploy -- they can bankrupt Vonage with legal fees while depressing the stock price, and eventually eliminate the competitor one way or another.

NOTE: I'm not optimistic that this change will ever occur.

Akron, OH


I started using Vonage phone service 4 months ago and was content with it until today when the local cable company offered me a deal I couldn't pass up that included their version of digital phone.

So I called Vonage and explained to them the situation and tho I was satisfied with Vonage the package deal from cable was more to my liking and benefit.

Of course I expected a little reluctance on their part to lose a customer and I listened patiently while the person on the other end offered me various other options of the Vonage service, but I explained that it was a package deal and Vonage didn't offer anything like it. He agreed but said that when I chose Vonage I was looking for the best deal for my money { I'm am paraphrasing here. }. I was really looking for a replacement for my ATT phone service and Vonage interested me at that time. After a few more offers I said I just wanted to go with the cable deal, he then says the cable deal is only good for three months, I said no I was in for a year, his response, and this is where I feel the line was gone over ,was that they say a year but after three months they go to regular price. Now this man has no idea what kind of deal I have, he should consider the many deals he offered me to attempt to retain my business, but no he's going to try to tell me what sort of deal I had and imply that the competing company would trick me, in the end let's see who tried to trick me.

By now I could see this person was not simply going to cancel my account, so I requested to speak with his manager. He says that he's the manager so I request to speak to his superior, and he says he'll get someone and puts me on hold. I wait some minutes and he comes back saying he's still looking for a supervisor, I asked can't he just cancel my account and he says he can but puts me back on hold { ? }.When he comes back on he tells me I have to pay a disconnect fee. Now today is Sept 5 my bill is due Sept 11, I owe Vonage nothing but there going to try to charge me when I been nothing but straight with them. Of course I said I'm not paying them anything I always had my bill paid promptly. Well this didn't go well at all, and honestly an argument ensued with me asking if my account was closed when he responded that it was I declared that it WASN'T nice doing business with them and I hung up.

I quickly called my bank and explained the situation to them and they said yes Vonage was attempting to get $95.60 out of my account, upon my request the bank stopped payment and shut down my account. Nobody gets anything, my account is gone.

Here is a portion of the email I got from Vonage shortly after that----

Dear Gale Cain,

At your request, your Vonage service has been cancelled. This email is to notify you that we have
successfully processed the final charges for your Vonage account in the amount listed below.

Vonage Account Number: 1005581911
Date Processed: 09/05/2007
Debit Amount: $95.60

As outlined in our Terms of Service, a disconnect fee of $39.99 per voice line is charged to all
customers along with any applicable taxes. Your total debit of $95.60 includes this disconnect fee,
all pending charges, credits, and applicable taxes. For more information about our return policy,
please refer to our Terms of Service: » ··· vice.php.

So anyone who has any idea about using Vonage you have been warned, Don't.


South Williamson, KY

Re: vonage

just get a prepaid card and dont put any money on it and change your payment menthod to it and let it sit..
New York, NY
Vonage was in their legal right to charge you because you did agree to a terms of service when you signed up that included those disconnection fees.
"Beer is Proof That G-D Loves Us and Wants Us to Be Happy" - Ben Franklin


Houston, TX
This sweet deal you're talking about. Was it a promotional offer? How long does it last? How much is your VOIP going to cost once the special pricing expired? I don't know of any cable company that is offering VOIP at a monthly price comparable to Vonage or any other non-telco/cableco provider.

My VOIP is $15/mo. Nobody has yet given me a reason to switch.

Not every saint is a fool
Tempe, AZ
What the representative stated, about the stated price only lasting 3 months, is often very true. Almost all cable companies have an 'introductory' price on their services, and most last 3 months, then revert back to regular price.
Now I tried to go to RR's site and find this offer myself, but their site is so cluttered I couldn't find it.

And yes, you do need to pay the bill, because if I'm understanding your billing correctly, your bill would be the time from August 11th to September 11th. You can't cancel a service a few days before it is due and expect to pay nothing.
And there was a disconnect fee in the contract, this is always something to look into/be aware of when doing any sort of phone service, because they almost always have a disconnect fee.

I hardly see anything wrong with the charges.

said by galecain:

So anyone who has any idea about using Vonage you have been warned, Don't.

why shouldn't we get vonage? Because you didn't know about a disconnect fee? Read the agreement before you sign up for something. Its possible your cable company you switched to has one as well if you are in a minimum term agreement. I think you only have to pay the disconnect fee if you cancel within a certain time period. Being nice, you could have maybe had it waived.

Sacramento, CA


These patent lawsuits are getting out of hand. Vonage is targeted by the telcos because they are the largest independent VoIP provider. If they take Vonage down, they'll continue suing until they are suing each other.

Historical note: Sprint began as a fiber optic network/microwave dish transmissions connecting Southern Pacific Railroad company offices/locations and were usually buried next to rail beds. SPRINT=Southern Pacific Railroad Internal Network (although some other variations of the INT part are argued by some). Sprint was the first major competitor to AT&T's long distance monopoly. In 1982, they were bought by GTE, then in 1989 they were purchased by United Telephone System who adopted the more well known Sprint brand. So they could be claiming patents that once belonged to GTE, United Telecom/Telephone, or themselves (unlikely). United Telephone was never any great developer of new technology requiring patents, my guess is Sprint still owns some GTE patents or bought some on their own.

Brooklyn, NY
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

bogus fee

$40 to disconnect a VOIP account is a bogus charge unless your including the ability to PORT YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER to another carrier (smooth transition), NOT to line the pockets of vonage... and that fee can be as low as "FREE" courtesy cost of doing business too.. I'd rather people just not sign-up and agree to the "highest" disconnect fees in the VOIP industry in the first place. Vonage thinks themselves as if they're a POTS company these days..

Newport, KY

Re: bogus fee

Lingo, Voice Pulse and I am sure lots of other companies all have the exact same $39.99 termination fee. Stop spreading FUD. You don't like Vonage. That's fine. Don't spin.

And if you are smart about how you sign up for any one of these VOIP companies you wouldn't have to pay that disconnect fee. It isn't like they take your social security number when you sign up.

Jersey City, NJ

As a Sprint & Vonage Customer

I think both companies offer innovative and well priced products.

I've been a sprint customer for over 10 years, and a vonage customer since 2003. Yes, I'd rather have a rootcanal without pain killers, and while having someone poking me in the eye than to call sprint customer service, but hey it's not a perfect world.

I've gotten my parents, friends and some work-associates to move to vonage, and they all seem to be very pleased with it. My parents moved from NY to PA and they kept their NY home number (thanks to vonage).

Sprint's biggest selling point is: Cheap wireless Data services.

Searching for my lost shaker of salt
Naples, FL

Sprint is broke

Sprint is broke and reaching for some extra cash. If the patented technology was 'stolen' from Sprint, why the hell did they never use it them selves? The reason: Sprint can't get VOIP to work. Period. Sprint wastes money on technology that just plainly doesn't work. They have good intentions, but eventually fail in their pursuit to make anything work. Too bad Nextel got sucked up into this mess.

Maybe I should sue Sprint for the lousy service and coverage they offer.
Kip Hawley IS an Idiot


A bit of history...

Sprint was working on VOIP-type products back at least as far as 1998 with Sprint ION. A lot of very specific intellectual property was created during that effort. The project was shut down mostly for business reasons, not for technical reasons. But Sprint still holds the intellectual property rights to those inventions.

Vonage launched as a company in 2001. 'Nuff said.