Sprint Win Upheld in $140 Million Time Warner Cable Verdict

(Bloomberg) -- Sprint Communications Co. won an appeals court decision that affirmed a $140 million patent-infringement verdict against Time Warner Cable Inc. concerning Voice over Internet Protocol services.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Friday affirmed a jury decision that Time Warner Cable, now owned by Charter Communications Inc., infringed five Sprint patents related to packet-switched networks. The 2-1 panel decision was posted on the court’s electronic docket.

Sprint filed the suit against Time Warner Cable and other cable television companies in 2011, claiming they used, without permission, Sprint inventions for transmitting phone calls over digital lines. Comcast Corp. in 2017 agreed to pay Sprint $250 million to settle its case.

Time Warner Cable objected to the jury learning about a verdict Sprint won against Vonage Holdings Corp., but the appeals court said it was useful to help jurors determine what a reasonable royalty should be. The court also rejected other arguments regarding the damage award, saying “the jury had an adequate basis from which to find that damages should be awarded in the amount of $1.37 per VoIP subscriber per month.”

In a dissent, Circuit Judge Haldane Mayer said he would have reversed the verdict because he believes the Sprint patents should have been found invalid.

The case is Sprint Communications Co. v. Time Warner Cable Inc., 17-2247, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington).

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