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Sprint Files Patent Infringement Charges Against Mediacom

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Sprint Corp S reportedly filed a patent infringement complaint against Mediacom Communications Corp. in the federal court in Delaware. Mediacom is a New York-based cable television and communications provider.

Per sources, the national wireless carrier accused Mediacom's digital phone and business phone services of violating Sprint’s 13 patents related to voice-over-packet (VOP) technology. A VOP application allows both voice and signaling information to be transported over the packet network, instead of having a dedicated circuit for each call. However, it has to face challenges of combining legacy voice networks and packet networks.


Per this lawsuit, Sprint is seeking damage recovery payment from Mediacom for each infringement. However, the exact amount has not yet been revealed. Moreover, Sprint is demanding an order to ban the sale of Mediacom's products.

Notably, many companies like Mediacom have tried to benefit from Sprint’s VOP technology without prior consent. So, Sprint has resorted to legal measures to enforce the patent in the wireless industry.

Several cases in the past related to VOP patents have been in the company's favor. In 2007, Sprint received $69.5 million from Vonage America Inc. on grounds of patent infringement. Between 2007 and 2009, Sprint filed complaints in the federal court in Kansas against four companies for infringing six VOP patents. The companies were NuVox Communications Inc., Broadvox Holdings LLC, Big River Telephone Co. and Paetec Communications Inc.

In October 2017, Sprint and Comcast Corp CMCSA settled a longstanding dispute over patents. The settlement amount remains undisclosed.

In March 2017, Sprint received $139.8 million as damage recovery payment from Time Warner Cable for breaking norms for digital voice telephone services. In 2011, Sprint filed a lawsuit against Time Warner Cable and other cable television companies for breaking patents and using Sprint’s connections and services illegally, without permission. Charter Communications Inc’s CHTR subsidiary, Time Warner Cable, was found guilty of intentionally violating the patents. The jury found that Time Warner Cable broke five patents for Voice-over-Internet Protocol.

Notably, Sprint has reportedly received a total of $350 million from settlements related to several patent infringement lawsuits.

Similar Patent Infringement Cases

The $1-billion lawsuit between Qualcomm Inc QCOM and Apple Inc AAPL is taking a bitter turn, day by day. With multiple counterattacks from each side, the case has currently taken the turn of patent infringement. Qualcomm recently filed three new patent infringement complaints against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego. Qualcomm also claims that another 16 of its patents were being used by Apple in iPhones.

This filing is a response to Apple’s latest counterattack against Qualcomm. On Nov 29, 2017, Apple alleged that Qualcomm's Snapdragon mobile phone chips, which power various Android-based devices, infringe Apple's patents.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

Currently, Sprint is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Over the past month, the stock has returned 0.9% compared with the industry’s rally of 10.5%.

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