January 24, 2008
Sprint Takes Legal Action to Protect VOP Patent Portfolio
Lawsuits Filed Against Four Service Providers for Ongoing Infringement of VOP Patents; Sprint Seeking Injunction and Monetary Damages
OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 24, 2008--Sprint (NYSE:S) announced today the filing of four patent infringement actions in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas in its continuing effort to enforce its Voice over Packet ("VOP") patent portfolio. The lawsuits are against NuVox Communications, Inc., Broadvox Holdings LLC, Big River Telephone Company, and Paetec Communications, Inc. Sprint alleges that each of these companies has infringed at least 6 VOP patents by selling VOP services that utilize the Sprint patents. Sprint seeks monetary damages from these companies and an injunction that would enjoin the companies from ongoing infringement.
"Sprint has invested a great deal in the technology covered by its VOP portfolio," said Harley Ball, vice president of intellectual property for Sprint. "We cannot stand by and allow others to use Sprint's innovations and discoveries to compete with Sprint and its strategic partners. We will take all necessary steps to protect what is ours and we will continue to police the marketplace to stop others from misappropriating our technology."
These lawsuits follow Sprint's recent successful legal action against Vonage Holdings. In October 2005, Sprint filed suit against Vonage Holdings and Voiceglo Communications in the same Kansas court asserting infringement of seven VOP patents. In August 2006, Voiceglo agreed to a settlement of its case by paying a confidential sum for a license to Sprint's VOP patent portfolio. Sprint's case against Vonage, however, proceeded to trial. In September of 2007, an eight-person jury found that Vonage had willfully infringed all of Sprint's asserted patents and awarded Sprint $69.5 million in damages. Less than one month later, Vonage agreed to take a license under Sprint's VOP portfolio and paid Sprint $80 million. The same patents asserted against Vonage and Voiceglo in the 2005 case have been asserted in the four new cases.
Sprint's VOP portfolio comprises over 115 United States patents and dozens of foreign patents. The VOP patents cover revolutionary discoveries by Sprint engineers relating to interfacing packet networks, such as the Internet, with traditional circuit-based telephone networks, such as the Public Switched Telephone Network. These patents, some of which were filed as early as 1994, protect innovations that allow the use of inexpensive and highly efficient packet networks to carry voice traffic, thereby greatly reducing the cost of telephony and telephone networks.
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 robust wireless networks serving about 54 million customers at the end of 2007; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.
CONTACT: Sprint Nextel Matthew Sullivan, 703-592-2866 Matthew.firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE: Sprint Nextel