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Court rejects Vonage patent case appeal

Ruling triggers better terms for Verizon under settlement reached between the two companies last month.

A federal appeals court on Thursday turned down a request by Vonage Holdings to reconsider a lower court verdict that it infringed two patents held by Verizon Communications.

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit turned down Vonage's petition for a rehearing in the case, a ruling that triggers more favorable terms for Verizon under a settlement reached between the two companies last month.

Under the October 25 settlement deal, Vonage was required to pay $120 million if its request for a court rehearing were denied, including $2.5 million to charity. Had the court granted Vonage a rehearing, Vonage would only have had to pay $80 million.

In seeking to overturn the lower court verdict, Vonage had argued that the judge who oversaw the trial misconstrued key claims in three of the patents at issue and gave the jury the wrong instructions on how to interpret technical terms.

However, in September the same appeals court upheld most of the verdict and reaffirmed an order barring Vonage from using Internet phone call technology related to two of the patents Verizon claimed had been infringed.