On October 6, after a two-week trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, a jury rejected Verizon’s claims that Cox Communications owed it more than $400 million in damages for infringing six of Verizon’s Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) patents. The jury also found two of the supposedly key patents-in-suit to be invalid.
Cox provides telephony services over its private cable network using packet-switched and circuit-switched platforms to serve its more than three million phone customers and competes with Verizon’s telephone service in a few geographic markets. Following a successful 2007 trial in the same court and before the same judge against Vonage, an Internet-based VoIP telephony provider, Verizon filed a similar suit in 2008 against Cox. In this 2008 suit, Verizon maintained that Cox could not provide packet-switched-based telephony services without infringing Verizon’s patents.
Kilpatrick Stockton and Cox Communications retained Cornerstone Research and Dr. Michael C. Keeley, a senior vice president at Cornerstone Research, to assess Verizon’s damage claim. Dr. Keeley testified at trial that Verizon’s claim for more than $400 million in damages had no basis, in part because it ignored Cox’s next best non-infringing alternative. Taking this into account, Dr. Keeley testified that Verizon’s damage claim was overstated by more than 95 percent assuming that Verizon’s patents were valid and infringed. The jury found that Cox had not infringed any of the patents-in-suit and thus that there were no damages.