Vonage Dials Into VoIP Patents

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Vonage Holdings snapped up a trio of critical voice-over-Internet-protocol patents to strengthen its stance in a pending patent-infringement battle with major voice-service providers including Sprint Nextel and Verizon Communications.

The three patents Vonage acquired from Digital Packet Licensing cover compression of packetized digital signals commonly used in VoIP technology. Terms of the deal were not released.

"We're committed to developing, acquiring and protecting the root technologies that are at the heart of our business," Vonage America president Michael Tribolet said. "The acquisition of these patents is part of Vonage's strategic plan to further develop our core technology and build on our innovative, affordable and feature-rich phone service. Vonage's strategic plan also includes a concerted effort to grow, create and acquire other significant intellectual-property portfolios."

The move also shored up Vonage’s position in the patent suits now filed in Federal District Court, even as the company enters cross-licensing negotiations with Sprint Nextel and Verizon. Companies including Motorola, Time Warner Inc. and Qwest Communications International have already either settled or obtained licenses for the digital-packet technology, and those relationships will now transfer over to Vonage, according to the company.

In other Vonage patent news, Klausner Technologies filed a suit versus the VoIP provider Monday in Federal Court in the Eastern District of Texas alleging patent infringement and seeking damages and royalties of $180 million, AP reported.

Klausner controls patents covering VoIP voice mail, and it said it recently granted AOL a license under the same patent for Internet voice-mail services, according to AP.

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