October 01, 2009
OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Oct 01, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Sprint (NYSE:S) and Big River Telephone Company announced today that they have settled their ongoing patent litigation. Sprint had sued Big River, along with three other telecommunications companies, in January 2008 alleging infringement of six patents owned by Sprint relating to Voice over Packet ("VoP") communications systems. Sprint previously settled with the three other telecommunications companies.

The financial terms of the Big River settlement are confidential. Under the terms of the settlement, Big River will compensate Sprint for a non-exclusive license to Sprint’s VoP patent portfolio to allow Big River to provide services to predefined cable companies. This portfolio contains more than 120 United States patents, as well as numerous foreign patents, covering systems, components and methods for carrying voice traffic over a packet-based network, such as the Internet. Specifically, many of these patents cover telecommunications systems offered in conjunction with cable television and high speed Internet services. Under this license, Big River, a leading cable telecommunications company, may operate its systems under Sprint’s patents.

"We are glad to put this litigation behind us and return our attention to providing our clients with excellent telecommunication services," stated Jerry Howe, president of Big River. "We are pleased to be a licensee of Sprint’s patents and look forward to providing our services under the protection of this portfolio. We recognize the importance of Sprint’s VoP patent portfolio."

"Sprint was intent on seeking an injunction to preserve its competitive position as a leader in providing cable VoP solutions; however, we are pleased that we were able to enter into an agreement that allowed Big River to be licensed so that it can continue to service its existing customers and smaller cable operations," stated Harley Ball, vice president of intellectual property at Sprint. "Sprint’s VoP portfolio enables efficient and cost-effective telecommunications in connection with cable phone services."

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving almost 49 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2009; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The company’s customer-focused strategy has led to improved first call resolution and customer care satisfaction scores. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.

SOURCE: Sprint

Matt Sullivan, 703-592-2866