stories filed under: "countersuits"
by Mike Masnick
Mon, May 12th 2008 7:19pm
In certain markets, Sprint has always used affiliates to sell its service, rather than building out its own efforts. Some of those affiliate relationships caused problems back in 2004/2005 when Sprint merged with Nextel -- as Nextel's service existed in some of those markets, potentially "competing" with the Sprint affiliates who had agreements that Sprint would not compete directly. So, with the new WiMax joint venture with Clearwire, Sprint knew that the big affiliate iPCS would be upset. In fact, last week, Sprint sued iPCS in Delaware seeking a declaratory judgment that the new joint venture did not break their agreement with iPCS. That lawsuit appears to have been filed slightly before iPCS filed its own lawsuit in Illinois against Sprint. Chances are the two suits will be combined in some manner, but it's yet another hurdle that Sprint needs to clear before it can get this new WiMax offering off the ground. Sprint may have a decent claim here -- as the agreement with iPCS is focused only on 1.9GHz spectrum, whereas the WiMax network is on 2.5GHz spectrum. Either way, it seems like these affiliate relationships may be a lot more pain than they're worth.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 7th 2008 1:23pm
from the pissed-off-judge dept
If you follow the various RIAA lawsuits, you'll notice the pattern. The RIAA bullies and bullies and bullies people, trying to get them to settle. They almost never want to go to court -- and if someone fights back -- especially to the point of filing countersuits, the RIAA looks to get out of the case as quickly as possible. Step one, of course, is trying to get the countersuits dismissed. Apparently, it tried to do that last year when a defendant in Tampa countersued the RIAA. The judge, however, wouldn't let the RIAA off the hook and refused to dismiss most of the counterclaims. Amazingly, in a very similar case in front of the same judge, with the defendant again countersuing -- the RIAA asked the court to dismiss the countersuits, claiming the earlier decision was in error. Generally speaking, it's probably not a great idea to tell the judge that a ruling he made a few months back in a nearly identical case was a mistake. After receiving the motion to dismiss the countersuit Tuesday evening, the judge turned it down first thing Wednesday morning. The judge's order itself is short and sweet, saying that the RIAA showed no evidence as to why the original ruling was incorrect and so it sees no reason to treat this countersuit any differently than the last one. Of course, just like last time, the RIAA doesn't want this to go to court, and will likely try to settle up as quickly as possible.