Court awards Sprint $27.6M in optical patent case against Comcast

A federal jury in Maryland has awarded Sprint (NYSE: S) $27.6 million in damages stemming from claims that Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) infringed on a number of the service provider's optical networking patents.

Following a one-week trial, the jury found that Comcast infringed by "making and using SONET ring networks in particular markets," according to documents released by the court.

Sprint was represented by Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP in the case. The jury's verdict represents the full amount of damages sought by Sprint.

However, it appears that the battle is not over. Comcast plans to challenge the ruling, reports Multichannel News.

"We are disappointed with today's decision and believe the evidence shows Comcast does not infringe Sprint's patents," a Comcast spokesman said in an emailed statement to Multichannel News. "We do plan to pursue post-trial motions and want to thank the jury for their time and thoughtful consideration."

This is not the only time Sprint and Comcast have battled over patents.

In another case, a jury awarded Comcast $7.5 million last October over claims that the wireless operator violated Comcast's patents for VoIP and other telecommunications technologies.

Sprint has been quite active in recent years in battling patent disputes with other service providers.

Besides Comcast, the service provider settled a VoIP patent lawsuit with independent telco Big River Telephone Co. in October 2009 for an undisclosed amount. Sprint claimed that Big River infringed on six VoIP patents it owns. It also settled claims with Nuvox Communications (now Windstream), BroadVOX Holdings and PAETEC Communications (now Windstream) over a similar patent issue.

For more:
- Kansas City Star has this article
- Multichannel News has this article

Related articles:
Comcast wins $7.5M in damages in patent case against Sprint
Sprint sues Comcast, Time Warner Cable and others over VoIP patents
Sprint reaches VoIP patent agreement with Big River Telephone