by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jan 25th 2008 2:21pm
We've noticed a certain pattern among tech companies once they run into business problems. Rather than figuring out how to improve their product by innovating, they resort to patent litigation. It's an all too common practice, unfortunately -- and can be a sign of how strongly a company believes in its own ability to actually innovate. Perhaps the latest to follow this unfortunate trend is Sprint. Sprint is clearly facing a number of problems in its effort to innovate out of trouble, so it probably will come as no surprise that it's now going after a bunch of small companies for patent infringement, concerning the same VoIP patents it used to squeeze money out of Vonage. Just as Verizon did with its Vonage patent windfall, Sprint has decided to turn around and sue more companies. Though, unlike Verizon, Sprint is focusing on smaller players who probably have even fewer resources to defend themselves, making them more likely to quickly settle, rather than deal with the cost and uncertainty of a lengthy patent lawsuit.
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