During oral arguments on Vonage Holdings’ appeal of a jury verdict that found Vonage liable for infringing voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) patents belonging to Verizon Communications, a judge with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit suggested that the parties could reach a “middle ground” that would provide Verizon with compensation for Vonage’s use of the technologies in question while enabling Vonage to remain in business. In March, Vonage was found guilty of violating three Verizon patents that cover the connection of VoIP calls to wireline local exchange networks, VoIP calls via WiFi handsets, and features such as call waiting and voice mail. At the request of Verizon, U.S. District Court Judge Claude Hilton imposed an injunction that bars Vonage from signing up new customers as long as Vonage’s infringing technology remains in place. That injunction, however, was stayed by the Federal Circuit pending the outcome of the appeal that was the subject of Monday’s hearing. Casting doubt on the notion that “Verizon has an interest in putting Vonage out of business,” Judge Timothy Dyk questioned, “isn’t there . . . a middle ground in these cases when the injunction would put someone out of business” in which the lower court could “consider allowing time for a workaround as part of the injunction?” Asserting that Vonage had never set forth a specific timeline for a workaround or suggested any other compromise to the court, counsel for Verizon argued that, if such an approach were taken, Vonage should be required to produce evidence that a workaround would be achieved in the additional time given. Counsel for Vonage, meanwhile, expressed willingness to accept a modified injunction “if that’s the least we got.” Although Vonage is contesting the validity of the March verdict on grounds that Hilton gave improper instructions to the jury, counsel for Vonage told Dyk that, if the district court verdict is upheld, there would be “no irreparable harm” in a compromise that would require Vonage to pay Verizon a 5.5% royalty on future sales in addition to the jury’s previous damage award of $58 million.