Verizon loses against Cox - for now

Cable company Cox Communications did not infringe on six of Verizon's Internet phone service patents, according to a federal jury in Virginia.

Verizon filed against Cox in January, but a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled in Cox's favor on Monday afternoon. Needless to say, Cox is "extremely pleased" with the decision.

On the other side, Verizon is likely to appeal and do so quickly. The Virginia jury found that Cox had provided clear evidence that Verizon's claims on two patents were invalid, one for an enhanced DNS server and another - an extension of the first -- for DNS name translation to a phone number.

Both patents were a key part in Verizon's suit against Vonage last year, and Vonage ended up paying Verizon $117.5 million as a part of a settlement agreement. With different juries in the same state ruling in opposite directions on the patent, Verizon will likely act quickly to appeal to a higher court for clarification. 

And it's not just Vonage that wants to see what the ultimate outcome is. Verizon filed a similar suit in Texas against Charter Communication over the same patents, and Charter has vowed to fight back. A verdict in Verizon's favor would have provided the phone company with significant leverage in trying to squeeze other cable companies to settle out of court.

For more:
- Multichannel News provides coverage on the Cox/Verizon VoIP patent case.

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