HOLMDEL, N.J., May 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Vonage today asked the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington D.C. to vacate
and remand the U.S. District Court's decision finding Vonage infringed on
certain Verizon technology. Vonage has asked the appeals court to send the
decision back to the lower court to retry the case based on the new test
for determining when an invention is too obvious to warrant patent
protection. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously adopted this new test
yesterday in the KSR v. Teleflex case.
Vonage praised the high court's decision, which held that the
obviousness question should not be determined in a narrow, rigid manner
that denies common knowledge, but rather should incorporate a more
expansive and flexible approach that allows for consideration of common
sense when assessing whether an invention is ordinary or obvious, and thus
ineligible for patent protection. Vonage is confident this ruling should
have a positive impact on its case. Vonage has consistently maintained it
does not infringe on Verizon's technology, asserting in its brief today
that the validity of Verizon's name translation ('574 and '711) and
wireless ('880) patents should be retried by the U.S. District Court in
light of the U.S. Supreme Court's April 30, 2007 decision.
"We are very encouraged by the Supreme Court's decision and the giant
step it represents towards achieving much-needed patent reform in this
country," said Jeffrey Citron, Vonage chairman and interim chief executive
officer. "The Supreme Court's decision should have positive implications
for Vonage and our pending patent litigation with Verizon. We are also
hopeful that this case will protect legitimate innovators and the value of
their inventions, unlock the innovation process, and provide that companies
are better able to conduct business without the encumbrance of meritless
Borrowing a theme it first began using as part of the "Free to Compete"
national grassroots communications campaign launched last week, Vonage
described the Supreme Court's decision in consumer-friendly terms.
"Everyone knows you can't patent an orange, but you can - and someone
likely already does - hold the patent for an orange picker," said Sharon
O'Leary, Vonage's executive vice president, chief legal officer and
secretary. "According to the Supreme Court's ruling, if you patent an
orange picker, and then someone else comes along and puts a glove on it to
protect the oranges against bruising, you can't patent this new invention
as "novel" as it is just an obvious improvement of the original invention.
The Supreme Court's decision thus focuses on keeping only what's truly
novel and original protected by patents.
Vonage (NYSE: VG) is a leading provider of broadband telephone services
with 2.4 million subscriber lines. Our award-winning technology enables
anyone to make and receive phone calls with a touch tone telephone almost
anywhere a broadband Internet connection is available. We offer
feature-rich and cost- effective communication services that offer users an
experience similar to traditional telephone services.
Our Residential Premium Unlimited and Small Business Unlimited calling
plans offer consumers unlimited local and long distance calling, and
popular features like call waiting, call forwarding and voicemail -- for
one low, flat monthly rate. Vonage's service is sold on the web and through
national retailers including Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
and Target and is available to customers in the U.S., Canada and the United
Kingdom. For more information about Vonage's products and services, please
Vonage Holdings Corp. is headquartered in Holmdel, New Jersey.
Vonage(R) is a registered trademark of Vonage Marketing Inc., a subsidiary
of Vonage Holdings Corp.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding
Vonage's likelihood of success on appeal. In addition, statements in this
press release that are not historical facts or information may be
forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this release
are based on information available at the time the statements are made
and/or management's belief as of that time with respect to future events
and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and
outcomes to be materially different. Important factors that could cause
such differences include, but are not limited to, our inability to
implement an effective workaround, potential claims by creditors, our
history of net operating losses and our need for cash to finance our
growth; the competition we face; our dependence on our customers' existing
broadband connections; differences between our service and traditional
phone services, including our 911 service; uncertainties relating to
regulation of VoIP services; system disruptions or flaws in our technology;
our ability to manage our growth; the risk that VoIP does not gain broader
acceptance; and other factors described in the "Risk Factors" section of
our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended 12/31/06, and in our
subsequent periodic reports filed with the SEC. While we may elect to
update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we
specifically disclaim any obligation to do so, and therefore, you should
not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing our views as
of any date subsequent to today.