BT Group's British Telecom Sues Cable Firms Over Data Transmission Patents

British Telecommunications Plc, a global telecommunications unit of BT Group Plc, sued cable companies Cox Communications Inc., Coxcom Inc. and Cable One Inc. over patents for transmitting data over cable networks.

British Telecom seeks unspecified damages related to four patents it holds for “managing and organizing the flow of data over cable networks,” it said yesterday in a federal court complaint in Wilmington, Delaware. The company claims Cox and Cable One infringed its technologies deliberately and “in reckless disregard of BT’s rights.”

“The extent of damage suffered by BT” is unknown, “but the damage is substantial and will be determined in the course of litigation,” lawyers for the London-based company said in court papers. British Telecom said it has operations in more than 170 countries.

BT Group, the U.K.’s largest fixed-line phone company, reported in a July 29 statement that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and costs from job cuts rose to 1.4 billion pounds ($2.2 billion) in the three months ended June 30, from 1.33 billion pounds a year earlier.

Rima Calderon, a spokeswoman for the Washington Post Co., Cable One’s parent, said “the company does not comment on pending litigation.” David Grabert, a spokesman for Cox Communications, the third-largest U.S. cable TV company, said, “We have not been served and we have no comment about the complaint at this time”.

The case is In re British Telecommunications Plc v. Coxcom Inc., 10-cv-00658,U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Bathon in Wilmington, Delaware, at mbathon@bloomberg.net.

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