20 February 2007
NEW YORK — Verizon and Vonage on Wednesday will present opening statements in a patent-infringement case that could have a big impact on consumers and the nascent Internet telephone industry.
Most immediately at risk is the future of Vonage.
Vonage, one of the best-known brands in the Internet phone world, acknowledged last week that it doesn't have a plan for getting around use of technology that Verizon claims violates patents it owns.
The upshot: If Verizon prevails in court, Vonage could be forced to shut down, at least temporarily, while it redesigns its service. That could cause a lot of heartburn for Vonage's 2 million customers.