Comcast settles patent case with Sprint for $250 million

Comcast Corp. has settled for $250 million a lawsuit that claimed it infringed on Sprint Corp. patents for its internet-based phone service, marketed as Xfinity Voice or Digital Voice.

The amount was disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Thursday.

A federal judge in Kansas had scheduled a jury trial to begin Monday. Court and regulatory documents show that Comcast and Sprint reached an agreement on Oct. 16. Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint, one of the nation’s largest wireless carriers, had been seeking almost $1 billion in damages.

Comcast spokesman John Demming had no comment Thursday beyond the filing. Comcast offers the internet-based phone service as part of packages, along with internet and television.

Sprint sued in 2011, claiming that Comcast had infringed on a dozen of its patents. With a bulging docket of more than 1,200 entries, many documents in the case were filed under seal.

According to the original complaint, Sprint engineer Joe Christie developed the core technology for internet-based phone service in the 1990s and the company eventually developed a portfolio of about 120 patents around it.

Sprint has filed similar suits claiming other companies infringed on the patents. In 2007, a Kansas jury found that Vonage Holdings also violated the patents and awarded Sprint $69.5 million in damages, according to court documents.