Court Affirms Cox Did Not Infringe Verizon VoIP Patents


A federal appeals court Friday upheld a ruling that Cox Communications did not infringe Verizon Communications patents related to voice-over-IP technology.

Verizon had sought $404 in million damages from Cox in the suit, filed in January 2008.

"Verizon is committed to ongoing innovation and protection of its intellectual property for the benefit of consumers. Today's narrow decision was based on six of our many thousands of patents, and we will continue to promote our innovations through patent licensing as well as monitor for unlawful infringement," John Thorne, Verizon senior vice president and deputy general counsel, said in a statement.

For its part, Cox said: "We are very pleased that the appeals court affirmed the jury's decision in all respects, finding that Verizon's claims of patent infringement against Cox were without merit."

In October 2008, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled in Cox's favor in the patent-infringement case. Moreover, the jury said, the cable operator had provided "clear and convincing evidence" that Verizon's claims on two patents were invalid. On Friday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld that decision.

The two Verizon patent claims previously ruled invalid were for U.S. Patent No. 6,104,711, for an "Enhanced Internet domain name server" to translate information from a public, packet-based network; and U.S. Patent No. 6,282,574, "Method, server and telecommunications system for name translation on a conditional basis and/or to a telephone number," an extension of the earlier patent.

Verizon's suit originally alleged the cable operator infringed eight patents related to delivering phone service over data communications networks. The companies later agreed to have two of those claims dismissed prior to the jury trial.