Less than three weeks after Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Cox Communications agreed to sell broadband wireless spectrum to Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) and market Verizon products to cable subscribers, rival provider Sprint (NYSE: S) is accusing the major cable MSOs of violating patents it owns related to transmitting phone calls on VoIP networks.
Sprint, which also filed a patent-infringement suit against Cable One, has teamed up previously with the major MSOs on mobile phone ventures, and is an investor in Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR), the broadband wireless provider that is also backed by Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Comcast and Time Warner Cable have said that they will stop reselling Clearwire's mobile hotspot products to their subscribers following agreements they reached to market Verizon's mobile voice and data services to cable subscribers.
In four separate suits it filed Monday at U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Sprint alleges that Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox and Cable One have violated 12 patents related to VoIP phone technology. Sprint reached an $80 million settlement with VoIP provider Vonage in 2007, after it accused the company of patent infringement. Officials at Cox, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cable One declined to comment on the suits.
- Bloomberg has this story
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