Vonage has been selling VOIP since 2002. VZ's patents are from 2000, I think. So why wait 7 years? The IPO and the cash sitting in the bank might have had something to do with it.
Also, putting all that info in your IPO filings without doing a Google patent search might have been careless and reckless. (Where was Citi then? Nice due diligence by the banks who made a chuck on the IPO underwriting and now are saying sell that crappy stock off).
Daniel Berninger writes: "Verizon can’t make the Internet go away with a patent lawsuit." And Vonage "accused Verizon of simply using the court room to do what “Verizon could not succeed in doing in the marketplace – which is to put Vonage out of business.”", according to a Phone+ analysis of the mess.
I agree that VZ has gotten all the help it can from lobbying both the FCC and Congress - and will now take to litigation in place of marketing or customer service (both of which they suck at). VZ has a VOIP play: VoiceWing. It has less subs than AT&T's VoIP play, CallVantage, which analysts place at south of 200,000. The reason some site for the patent suit is that half of the 2.2M Vonage subs came from VZ.
UPDATE: CNET is asking: "Is Cable in VZ's cross-hairs?" This is going to get tricky because everyone (Sprint, VZ, VoIP Inc, Voiceglo, et al) says they have patents on VoIP. It just depends on what patents are found to be real and innovative as opposed to broad, general and bullsh!t. And if you read Tom Keating (or Constance).