A US federal appeals court has rejected Vonage's request for a retrial of the patent-infringement case brought against it by Verizon.
The VoIP service provider had asked the Court of Appeals to overturn an earlier jury verdict after a Supreme Court decision this week that is expected to change the way courts look at patent cases. Vonage was already appealing the verdict.
The appeals court declined to order the court to retry the case, saying instead that Vonage could invoke the Supreme Court decision in its existing appeal, said Vonage spokeswoman Brooke Shulz.
The Supreme Court ruling in the case of KSR International versus Teleflex, is expected to make it easier to invalidate new patents on the grounds that they are obvious combinations of existing inventions. Some legal experts have said the decision could affect the Vonage case.
"We believe our appeal is strong, and are pleased the Court has given us the option to use the expanded obviousness test in our arguments before them. Vonage continues to believe the original verdict was based on erroneous claim construction - meaning the patents in this case were defined in an overly broad and legally unprecedented way,"said Vonage. The appeals court's decision was the outcome Verizon expected, a company spokesman said.
Vonage's appeal is not expected to be heard until next year. Judge Claude Hilton of the district court issued an injunction on 6 April barring the company from signing up new customers using the technology, but the appeals court has since granted Vonage a permanent stay of the injunction until its appeal has been heard.