Jury Ponders Whether Vonage Infringed on Verizon Patents

Jurors on Wednesday started deliberating whether Verizon Communications Inc.s claim that Vonage Holdings Corp. infringed on its patents has merit.

Lawyers for both companies wrapped up closing arguments in federal court in Virginia. Reuters reported that jurors asked the judge for permission to work into the night, since they hoped to reach a verdict soon.

Verizon wants an injunction that could shut down Vonages service. The nations second-largest phone company contends Vonage is illegally using its patented technology for connection VoIP calls to the PSTN. Verizon also is seeking $197 million in past damages and a 19 percent royalty payment if the judge does not issue a ban, said analysts for investment bank Stifel Nicolaus.

Verizon stock closed at $35.79 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, down 69 cents from the previous close. Vonage, which saw a $17 per-share IPO last year, closed the day at $5.05, down 17 cents from Tuesday.

Stifel Nicolaus analysts said Vonage faced an uphill battle in court because the judge had issued a pre-trial ruling in Verizons favor and, on Wednesday morning, ruled against two of Vonages legal defenses.

Verizon Communications Inc.  

Vonage Holdings Corp.

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