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Patents The Courts Businesses Communications

Sprint Wins $140M Verdict Against Time Warner Cable For Infringing VoIP Patents (arstechnica.com) 18

Sprint "may have just scored its biggest payout yet," reports Ars Technica, pointing out that Sprint's been filing lawsuits over its VoIP patents for more than a decade. An anonymous reader quotes their report: On Friday, a jury in Sprint's home district of Kansas City said that Time Warner Cable, now part of Charter Communications, must pay $139.8 million for infringing several patents related to VoIP technology. The jury found that TWC's infringement was willful, which means that the judge could increase the damage award up to three times its value... Sprint filed the lawsuits that led to Friday's verdict in 2011, when it sued TWC along with Comcast, Cox, and Cable One, saying the competing companies violated 12 different Sprint VoIP patents.
The article points out that Comcast's response was to immediately file a countersuit, which so far has resulted in an early $7.5 million verdict in their favor.
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Sprint Wins $140M Verdict Against Time Warner Cable For Infringing VoIP Patents

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    who gives a shit lol.

    sprint vs time warner is like herpes vs gentital warts , whoever wins we all lose

  • Pro:
    Worthless POS company Time Warner has to pay $140 million

    Con:
    Patent trolls win again

    Verdict:
    Bad. $140 million means squat to Time Warner, and it won't affect their vastly overpaid CEO's compensation by even 1 USD.

    • To me whether the judgement is good or bad depends on the facts. The court ruled that Time Warner intentionally broke the law. If that's true, then it's good that the court saw that.

  • by l0n3s0m3phr34k ( 2613107 ) on Sunday March 05, 2017 @11:24PM (#53982785)
    My company uses Elastix / Asterix quite a bit; this makes me wonder how these patents impact all that "open source" software.
    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Monday March 06, 2017 @01:00AM (#53983009) Journal

      Here's the information that I found in about two minutes:

      The Asterisk community has known about the Sprint patents for many years, and has looked at them.

      They probably never affected Asterisk. One patent, however, is about a specific method of silence suppression. Asterisk used some method of silence suppression. It's possible that in the past it used the patented method.

      The Asterisk community has had many years to adjust, such as by switching to a different method of silence suppression if needed.

      Sprint has sued the big phone companies whose infringement is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. It's probably not worth it to them to sue some company handling dozens of calls per day even if your infringement were flagrant and intentional.

  • Patent #s?? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 05, 2017 @11:30PM (#53982805)

    In each story, nobody list the patent number as if the patent itself doesn't matter. That's pretty telling here.

    Digging, a typical example is 6633561
    https://www.google.com/patents/US6633561

    The invention here seems to be sending the control and data down the same connection, but that's not new in 2001. The bulk of the claims simply describe how VOIP works. Have I missed something here? There does not appear to be an invention.

    The '52 patent is 6,463,052? Again no invention.

  • There's a habit in law suits to name all possible litigants, to increase pay off.
    backfired this time. Comcast already won round one.

    Not a fan of Comcast, but I don't hate them. In my personal experience Version is MUCH worse, and I have court records to prove it. (I won).
  • "A method for routing multicast packets in a network is disclosed July 1993 [google.com]

    "IP multicast was first introduced in Steve Deering's Ph.D. dissertation in 1988" ref [unc.edu]
    • by nierd ( 830089 )

      "A method for routing multicast packets in a network is disclosed July 1993 [google.com] "IP multicast was first introduced in Steve Deering's Ph.D. dissertation in 1988" ref [unc.edu]

      I'm unsure what you are going for - but if you invented a new way of routing TCP/IP that was new and unique you could still patent it today. When the protocol was invented or even made public has no relevance to a patent on how to route said packet. (this post is not intended to support software patents)

    • first introduced in school and getting it to work in the real world are two completely different things

  • Guess my TWC bill is going to go up another $10/mo so they can pay for it.

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