April 07, 2007
Vonage Fading Fast
Posted by Gordon Smith

Last year I called the Vonage IPO a train wreck. Since then, the company has lost 80% of its value. The remaining 20% could be gone soon.

On Friday federal district court judge Claude Hilton issued an order prohibiting Vonage from signing new customers unless it stopped infringing on Verizon's patents. The order was issued one month after a jury found that Vonage had infringed Verizon's patents and set damages at $58 million plus a 5.5 percent royalty on future business. (Vonage's total market capitalization is only $522 million.)

Fortunately for Vonage, the appellate court stayed Judge Hilton's order, pending appeal of the case. Unfortunately for Vonage, the part of Judge Hilton's order requiring an appeal bond of more than $60 million was not removed by the appellate court. While a workaround may exist, Vonage looks to be in big trouble.

Silver lining: I won't have to remember to cancel my phone service before we move this summer.

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