Source AP ©

Vonage Holdings Corp to pay Sprint Nextel for infringing on telecommunications patents

Internet telephone company Vonage Holdings Corp. has to pay Sprint Nextel $69.5 million (49.3 million EUR) in damages for infringing on six telecommunications patents owned by competitor Sprint Nextel Corp.

In addition to the damages, jurors ordered Vonage to pay a 5 percent royalty on future revenues.

A jury of five women and three men reached the verdict after two days of deliberations and three weeks of testimony in Kansas City, Kansas, federal court.

It was the second verdict against the New Jersey-based company this year. A jury in Virginia determined in March that Vonage had violated three Verizon patents in building its Internet phone system. The jury awarded Verizon $58 million (41.1 million EUR) in damages plus 5.5 percent royalties on future revenues.

A spokesman for Vonage declined comment.

Sprint sued Vonage in 2005, claiming the upstart company had infringed on seven Sprint patents for connecting Internet phone calls.

Vonage denied the claims, arguing that Sprint's patents were flawed and shouldn't have been approved.

Jurors brushed aside those claims, determining that Vonage violated the patents and did it deliberately, meaning U.S. District Judge John Lungstrum could triple the damages if he agrees with the decision.