Vonage has petitioned the U.S. Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit to defer its appeal and order a retrial of its patent dispute with Verizon. The company cited the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the KSR International v. Teleflex suit, which stated that the current test for patent obviousness is too stiff for suspect patents to be challenged. “According to the Supreme Court’s ruling, if you patent an orange picker, and then someone else comes along and puts a glove on it to protect the oranges against bruising, you can’t patent this new invention as ‘novel’ as it is just an obvious improvement of the original invention. The Supreme Court’s decision thus focuses on keeping only what’s truly novel and original protected by patents,” said Vonage chief legal officer Sharon O’Leary.
In March, a jury found Vonage guilty of infringing three Verizon patents and told the VoIP startup to pay $58 million worth of damages as well as royalties on future sales. The Federal Circuit agreed last week to allow Vonage to continue signing up customers during the appeals process.
Verizon deputy general counsel John Thorne said Vonage’s latest action has “no merit. Thorne regarded it as “a delaying tactic to avoid final resolution of the appeal.” Verizon plans to submit a brief on May 2 in response to Vonage’s motion.