Nortel Files Suit Against Vonage


The suit, filed in the U.S. District court in Wilmington, Del., alleges that Vonage violated 12 of Nortel's patents relating to its Internet phone services, including 911 and 411 services and click-to-call.

Nortel is seeking damages and an injunction on the use of the technologies by Vonage.

"From our perspective defending our intellectual properly rights is certainly a top priority for Nortel," said Nortel spokesman Mohammed Nakhooda.

Vonage became involved in the dispute in 2006 when it acquired Digital Packet Licensing and three patents it held. Those patents were the foundation for a suit DPL filed against Toronto-based Nortel alleging patent infringement in 2004.

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Nakhooda said that Vonage had settled similar lawsuits with other companies but continues to assert its claims against Nortel. "We obviously believe those patents aren't valid. That's why we're seeking to defend ourselves by asserting 12 of our patents. This is about us defending our intellectual property rights and that's what we're doing."

Vonage, meanwhile, continues in its allegations that Nortel is infringing on its patents.

"This particular suit is a countersuit so the original lawsuit that alleged patent infringement was filed by Vonage. This is a defensive maneuver on the part of Nortel," said Vonage spokesman Charles Sahner.

In addition to its consumer-focused offering, Holmdel, N.J.-based Vonage also offers VoIP products for small business users.

Vonage settled disputes with telecom companies ATandT, Sprint Nextel and Verizon earlier this year.