Tuesday, March 18, 2014

BT and Cable Firms End Suit over Data Transmission Patents

Case Filed: Aug 05, 2010

Case Closed: Mar 13, 2014

Court: Delaware District Court

Judge: Sue L. Robinson

Case Summary:
Coxcom and Cable One resolved the suit brought in by British Telecommunications accusing the cable companies of infringing its patents relating to transmitting data over cable networks. Judge granted the motion filed by the plaintiff, BT and dismissed the complaint, thereby ending litigation over the defendants’ products and services relating to cable systems networks claimed by the patents-in-suit.  The case is dismissed with prejudice, with each party bearing their own costs and expenses.

In dispute were the patents,
  • US5142532 entitled ‘Communication system’ issued on Aug 25, 1992 and expired1 by Aug 25, 2009
  • US5526350 entitled ‘Communication network with bandwidth managers for allocating bandwidth to different types of traffic’ issued on Jun 11, 1996 and expired1 by Mar 09, 2014
  • US6538989 entitled ‘Packet network’ issued on Mar 25, 2003 and expiring1 by Sep 09, 2017
  • US6665264 entitled ‘Connection admission control for connection orientated networks’ issued on Dec 16, 2003 and expiring1 by Aug 28, 2017
The patents are currently assigned2 to BT (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database.) The BT patents involved in the suit relate to managing and organizing the flow of data over cable networks. The company claims Cox and Cable One infringed its patented technologies deliberately and “in reckless disregard of BT’s rights.” It further added that “the extent of damage suffered by BT” is unknown, “but the damage is substantial and will be determined in the course of litigation.” 

See 1:10-cv-00658 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.

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1 Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents. 
2 MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded.

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