If there's one thing phone companies all have in common (besides phones), it's lawsuits. More specifically, patent lawsuits. Suits, countersuits, jumpsuits, you name it.
In the last five years, telecom has been trying to sue the pants off of competitors for alleged VoIP patent infringement.
Do you remember all the suits against Vonage? In 2007 Verizon successfully opened the door to lawsuits against Vonage by Sprint, AT&T, and Nortel. Verizon went on to sue Cox Communications and Charter Communications for infringements in 2008.
Funny, in February 2011, a small Alabama company named Bear Creek Technologies filed a lawsuit against Verizon and 22 other defendants (including Vonage) over VoIP-based patent infringement. It's practically incestuous.
So it should be no surprise that now Sprint is suing Time Warner, Comcast, Cox, and Cable One over VoIP patents. Sprint says these companies have "realized the great value in this technology and have misappropriated it without Sprint’s permission." Chicken or the egg? Who thought of these VoIP technologies first?
Apparently, some of the patents infringed upon were the same used against Vonage in 2007. Sprint must have its own narrative of the development of VoIP and related digital technologies. As for history, well, who knows who invented what tiny process of the technology first? Looking at all these lawsuits going around and around, no one really knows.
(Summary: Everybody is suing everybody.)