Sprint Patents Get Vonage Cash

vonhq.jpgThe beleaguered VoIP provider Vonage (VG) has been taking it on the chin for so long that even a marginal bit of good news is worth noting. The company said today it has “settled its pending patent dispute with Sprint (S)” and has “entered into a licensing arrangement under Sprint’s Voice over Packet (“VOP”) patent portfolio.” The settlement has sent Vonage shares soaring this morning, up 73 percent to roughly $2 a share.

The agreement is valued at $80 million: $35 million for past license use, $40 million for a fully paid future license, and a $5 million prepayment for services. On Sept. 25, a Kansas jury handed down a verdict finding that Holmdel, N.J.-based Vonage had infringed six of Sprint’s patents. Vonage was asked to pay $69.5 million in damages.

Why is this good news? It’s one less thing for Vonage to worry about; now the company can focus all its energies on resolving the patent imbroglio with Verizon (VZ). The courts asked Vonage to pay $66 million to Verizon back in June. If they can resolve that issue, then they can get back to battling cable companies for customers.