No doubt, several hundred million dollars does buy Vonage (NYSE:VG) substantial brand equity. People remember the commercials, and the idea of finally being able to give your local telco the finger for a cheaper, cooler alternative sticks with consumers.

But another telecom company will not want to purchase and reinforce a brand that dilutes its own, so the brand value of Vonage would only appeal to a telecom outsider, much like Skype appealed to eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY). Maybe a retailer like Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) or even Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) would want its own phone service offering, but I doubt any company would want to absorb all the baggage that would come with it.

As far as the prospect of Vonage being able to up-sell more services to its customers, as I pointed out in my initial argument, the numbers don't show any traction here. Management also estimates that average revenue per user (ARPU) will rise only slightly or stay flat through 2007. That doesn't sound like a whole lot of confidence in customers flocking to new add-on services. While the cost cutting will help slow the burn of cash, the top end looks to be firing on only half its cylinders.

And while I have no way of knowing just how much confidence to put in Vonage's legal defense, Qualcomm's (NASDAQ:QCOM) recent spanking by the ITC in a move to ban the import of new phones strikes an alarming tone. If Qualcomm gets raked over the infringement coals for violating five claims on a single patent, what are the chances Vonage will be able to avoid consequence connected to Verizon's (NYSE:VZ) three patents? And what about several more patents Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) is claiming are infringed?

Overall, the collective picture doesn't bode well for Vonage. And while I agree these are the areas where contrarians look to profit, I just can't come up with anything to justify such a high risk, especially with fundamentally better investing opportunities still out there.

You're not done with the duel yet! Read the other arguments, sound off on CAPS, and vote for a winner!

If Fool contributor Dave Mock were to fall in the woods when no one was around, he would most definitely make a sound. He owns shares of Qualcomm. Dave is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. eBay and Best Buy are Stock Advisor recommendations. Wal-Mart is an Inside Value recommendation. The Fool's disclosure policy uses its brand power to make the world a better place.