Vonage and AT&T settled one suit early last month

The two parties in one of the most recent patent lawsuits concerning Vonage's VoIP technology waited almost two months to tell the public they had actually settled their dispute just days after it was filed.

Last November 7, just over three weeks after AT&T jumped on the patent suit bandwagon, filing a claim against voice-over-IP provider Vonage, the two companies settled AT&T's claim for an undisclosed amount. The admission of that settlement came just before Christmas, when fewer folks would have been paying attention.

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The reason for these two companies' relative secrecy on the matter is unclear. Days before AT&T's filing, Vonage agreed to pay Sprint Nextel $80 million, after a federal district court jury found Vonage to have violated its patent portfolio. Days after that filing, Vonage settled up with its original complainant, Verizon, months after a separate jury found it had infringed upon that company's portfolio as well.

The settlement amounts were similar in both cases, so it would appear a precedent would have been set. Certainly Vonage couldn't possibly be more embarrassed than it already is.

With the big three telecom companies now having been appeased, optical networks provider Nortel may be the final party Vonage needs to address...unless that suit was already settled as well, and we just don't know it yet.

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