Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Vonage Sued By Sunrocket's Asset Holding Company

With the shutdown of SunRocket last month, other Voip companies started to offer packages aimed at SunRocket’s former customers. Now SunRocket’s asset holding company Sherwood Partners, is suing Vonage for allegedly using SunRocket’s customer list without consent. SunRocket said that its customer list is "one of its single most valuable remaining assets," and that Vonage's useage of the list has led to "immediate and irreparable harm and injury." Vonage thinks otherwise and said it got the list from a marketing company. If Vonage is guilty of using the list, the ruling will compromise other Voip companies’ agreements with Sunrocket as well.

I find it incredible that Sunrocket has "risen from the dead," so to speak, (well not really, because the plaintiff in this case is the asset holding company) to sue Vonage. They're doing so in order to hold on to what leverage they possibly can. This case should be used to remind business owners that even with the "death" of a company, the rules still apply. Vonage could be finding itself down a whole lot of money if they lose the case (amongst other lawsuits).

It's crucial for employees or bosses to think their actions through. In todays business world, we are often rushed into making brash decisions. I think that everyone can use a little "jimmney cricket" telling them to slow down, and that the wise tortoise often wins the race over the crass hair. I'm not saying that employees or bosses should move too slowly, but they need to be careful, especially when working for a company like Vonage that is in the public eye, and consequentially "ripe for the pickins," in "sue me" America.

In my writing, I often find myself scared to publish anything, for lack of better terms. Usually, I overcome this fear with a few edits and a walk around the office, or maybe some sleep (hard to come by) if i'm at home, or get some coffee. Many people for instance, including those who really should know, don't understand copyright laws. Even if something isn't marked as copy-written, if it's created by someone else, it technically has a copyright. You can't copy this work, or else you can be fined or prosecuted. If someone is looking for content to add for a project, or something such as a website, they should look into other methods such as: creating original material, syndication, copyleft, donated material, ask for permission, or material in the public domain ( most of the government's material is included). And of course anything written before the year 1924 can be copied. This includes images as well (for you designers out there).

Patents last for 20 years usually, and they give inventors a heads up in the market with their product, service, or unique process. Someone else can come along and add a new feature, but can’t copy the invention. If the patent is dishonored, the offender can be subject to a civil lawsuit.

Lesson learned, be careful when you make business decisions or else you'll end up like Vonage.

No comments: