Sprint Awarded $139.8M in TWC Patent Suit

Sprint was awarded $139.8 million by a federal jury Friday, stemming from a six-year old suit that claimed Time Warner Cable infringed on its patents for voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP), a method of transferring voice calls over digital lines.

Sprint originally filed the suit in 2011, alleging that TWC, Comcast, Cox and Cable One violated at least 12 VoIP patents by selling systems and services that used technology protected by the patents. The suits were filed in federal court in Kansas City.

Sprint was obviously pleased with the verdict and according to a report in Bloomberg News, Charter was disappointed and weighing its options.

Comcast is next up on the trial docket, scheduled to go before the same judge – John W. Lungstrum – on March 7.

According to Bloomberg, TWC (now owned by Charter Communications) “willfully infringed” on five of Sprint’s patents, meaning the damages could be trebled.

Cox Communications countersued Sprint in 2011 alleging that Sprint’s claims were too vague and therefore invalid. A federal court agreed with Cox but that decision was reversed on appeal in 2016. The current status of that case could not be determined.

Sprint’s suit against Cable One was dismissed by the court in November 2016, according to court documents.