Vonage buys way out of patent flap with Sprint Nextel

It's amazing what $80 million will do to keep the patent lawyers at bay.

Vonage this morning announced that it has agreed to pony up that princely sum to Sprint Nextel after a jury last month found that the troubled Internet phone company had infringed upon a half-dozen of the latter's patents.

Vonage's stock soared 74 percent on the news, although that soaring brought the price of its shares to only $2.

Moreover, Vonage is far from finished with its patent business, as another adverse ruling -- this one from Verizon -- remains unsettled and carries a price tag of $58 million. Vonage has been attempting to find technical work-arounds to the Verizon patents.

Vonage has been in so much legal trouble as of late that even defunct rival SunRocket took a swing at them.

(Update: Stock continues to do well on the news, although analysts see more of a mixed picture, according to this Bloomberg.com account.)

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