Since it opened up its checkbook to settle a patent case with Verizon
After Verizon greased the skids with a $120 million settlement, Sprint Nextel
Nortel's lawsuit is actually a countersuit against Vonage claiming the company violates nine patents it holds. Vonage stepped into the latest mess after acquiring three patents held by Digital Packet Licensing last year; Digital Packet had a suit open against Nortel.
The current battle that Vonage is waging is an issue that corporate patent lawyers and attorneys constantly struggle with: If we pay a settlement to make a lawsuit go away, will it just invite others?
In its early days, Qualcomm
But Vonage doesn't appear as lucky -- open hands have been popping up as fast as the company can write checks. While the company had a significant cash and short-term investment balance of $278 million at the end of the last quarter, it's dwindling fast. Even if investors believe Vonage will skirt bankruptcy, the constant beating taken from lawsuits still doesn't bode well for the future.
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Fool contributor Dave Mock is looking through his closet to see if he has any Web telephony patents that could form the basis of a lawsuit. He owns shares of Qualcomm and is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. Sprint is an Inside Value pick. The Fool's disclosure policy drives for show but putts for dough.