Sprint goes on the offensive with patent suit against cable

Remember the early days of VoIP when Vonage was signing up customers and Sprint (s s) totally went after it with a patent lawsuit relating to how Vonage handled voice calls on a data network? Well, it may be almost 2012, but Sprint is pulling out those patents again, and it is aiming its quest for license fees at the cable companies. Sprint has sued Time Warner Cable, (s twc) Comcast, (s cmcsa) Cable One and Cox Communications in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, according to Bloomberg.

The timing on this lawsuit seems a bit odd, but perhaps Sprint’s lawyers are now freed up after AT&T scrapped its bid for T-Mobile on Monday night. Maybe Sprint realized it is no longer going to have some kind of working relationship with the cable guys after they abandoned the wireless market and agreed to sell their airwaves to Verizon. Or perhaps Sprint just needs the cash because it realized Clearwire (s clwr) is going to be like that underperforming mooching brother who lives in the basement. It won’t be able to get rid of him, and he’s going to keep asking for money.

Whatever the reason, let’s hope we don’t have to sit through the endless articles laying out the patents and technical work-arounds. But for those who are interested in reliving the past or who missed it, here is a great resource for you. In the meantime, let’s keep an eye on the No. 3 carrier. It looks like Sprint’s lawyers are cruising for work, and it certainly needs the cash.