There appears to be no easier way for a carrier to turn a quick $80 million these days than to trot out the patent lawyers and sue the pants off of hapless Vonage.
Latest to reap such a reward from the VoIP gang that couldn't network straight is Verizon, which minutes ago joined Vonage in announcing that the two had settled their patent beef.
Earlier this month it was Sprint Nextel running off to the bank with an orange box stuffed with $80 million courtesy of Vonage.
In the case of Verizon, $80 million is just an opening bid, as the final tab could blow by $100 million:
From the press release:
Today the parties have agreed to resolve the patent lawsuit. The terms of the resolution depend on how the Court of Appeals decides Vonage's pending petition for rehearing regarding two of the Verizon patents (the '574 and '711). If Vonage wins rehearing on either the '574 or '711 patent or if the injunction is vacated as to the '574 or '711 patent, Vonage will pay Verizon $80 million. If Vonage does not win rehearing on either the '574 or '711 patent, or if the stay is lifted reinstating the injunction, Vonage will pay Verizon $117.5 million.
Given Vonage's run of luck on these matters, the smart money will be on the higher figure.
Then there was this line from the release: "The parties are pleased to have resolved this matter."
Verizon much more so than Vonage.
Welcome regulars and passersby. Here are a few more recent Buzzblog items. And, if you'd like to receive Buzzblog via e-mail newsletter, here's where to sign up.
Santa's unimaginable data disaster to mean empty stockings on Christmas.
Gates on education: Knowledge is good.
Average Joe asks Bill Gates a priceless question.
BSA, software giants target little guys most often.
Can the geek press handle a Microsoft sex scandal?
Hacking for better grades gets 4 preppies bounced from elite school in Mass.
This year's "25 Geekiest 25th Anniversaries."
When the patient is a Googler and the doctor is a pompous jerk.
Cell phone jamming on the rise.