Cox Communications files lawsuits over AT&T, Google Fiber

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt September 16, 2015

This story has been updated. 

Cox Communications, a subsidiary of the company that owns the Atlanta Journal Constitution, has filed two lawsuits against its competitors in the high-speed internet market.

According to federal court records, the Atlanta-based media company has filed suits against the city of Tempe, Ariz., over regulations the company argues are beneficial to Google Fiber. The company also suing AT&T for patent infringement, accusing the company of marketing services to U-Verse customers that utilize the company’s patent.

Both lawsuits were filed this year. Decaturish has reached out to Cox Communications for a comment, and this story will be updated when the company responds. The lawsuits have been filed as the two companies are pursuing plans to bring gigabit internet to markets around the united states, including Atlanta.

The lawsuit against the city of Tempe claims the city has enacted regulations specifically to benefit Google Fiber high-speed internet.

“As set forth below, the City has violated Federal law in a manner that directly harms Cox by establishing a discriminatory regulatory framework,” the lawsuit says. “The City’s regulatory framework imposes substantial statutory and regulatory obligations on providers of video services that the City deems to be cable operators (such as Cox). The City exempts from such rules and obligations providers of video services that the City deems not to be cable operators (such as Google Fiber). Legally, however, Google Fiber’s proposed video offering is indistinguishable from Cox’s cable service offering.”

The company’s AT&T lawsuit concerns the company’s ownership of the following patents:

–  U.S. Patent No. 7,992,172, titled “Method and System for Multicast Using Multiple Transport Streams”

– U.S. Patent No. 5,999,970, titled “Access system and method for providing interactive access to an information source through a television distribution system”

– U.S. Patent No. 8,332,889, titled “Generating a personalized video mosaic in a cable services network”

“The (patents) relate to systems and methods for improving the quality and functionality of interactive television services, as well as enhancing and simplifying the subscribing-user experience,” the lawsuit says.

According to the suit, “AT&T    provides   Interactive    Program   Guide    (IPG)   data  and functionality to subscribers by practicing the claims of the ‘172 patent. AT&T further provides a subscriber-personalized mosaic channel by practicing the claims of the ‘889 patent. AT&T also transmits data to subscriber terminals as claimed by the ‘970 patent.”

Cox accuses AT&T of marketing services marketing products that utilize its patent to U-Verse customers.

AT&T has filed a response stating “it denies each and every allegation in the complaint.”

The website Inside Counsel notes that Cox has been involved in a lengthy patent dispute with AT&T. According to the website, AT&T sued Cox for patent infringement in 2014. The article describes the 2015 suit as an attempt to “get AT&T to blink.” To read the full story, click here.

Here are copies of each lawsuit filed in Federal court:

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AT&T response

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

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