updated 10:12 am EDT, Sat August 30, 2014
Suit likely to span years, covers most all of Cox's in-home networking
After what AT&T calls "years of protracted negotiations," it has filed suit against Cox Communications, alleging that the cable company has violated seven patents covering general networking, digital video recorders (DVR), and packet loss mitigation. In a change from "normal" patent suits, AT&T is not seeking sales embargoes, but instead looks for a "compulsory ongoing royalty" for products that use the patents in question.
In a statement regarding the suit, AT&T claims that after "trying for more than five years to reach a reasonable license agreement with Cox for its use of our patented technology, we had no alternative but to seek assistance from the court."
Products alleged to use the patents are the Explorer 8000 and 8300 set-top boxes, Cox's IP-based telephone system and all related hardware, and several cable modems. Additionally, AT&T is claiming ownership of a system that allows storage and management of subscriber profiles, which is said to enhance call center efficiency. Notably, AT&T and Cox have some of the higher customer satisfaction ratings for customer service in the telecommunications industry.
Cox has of yet made no comment on the suit. No hearings are yet scheduled, but if the matter comes to a trial, the proceedings will likely extend until the end of 2016.