Cox Files Countersuit Against Sprint

Bloomberg reports in an April 17 article that Cox Communications Inc. has filed suit in federal court in Delaware against its former business partner Sprint Nextel over patent infringement. The complaint is a counter suit that claims Sprint has violated two patents held by Cox. It goes on to ask that the court dismiss a suit filed by Sprint in December claiming that Cox, Time Warner Cable and Comcast had infringed upon 12 Sprint patents.

The business relationship between Sprint and Cox involved the use of Sprint’s wireless services for Cox cable customers.  The relationship reportedly went south shortly after Cox stopped using Sprint’s wireless services and agreed to sell advanced wireless services (AWS) spectrum to Verizon Wireless, joining Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Bright House Networks in a similar but separate transaction.

Cox claims that it was not informed of intellectual properties issues until after signing agreements with Sprint.

The FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice are currently reviewing the proposed AWS sale between Verizon Wireless, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Cox Communications. Sprint has indicated it has concerns over the AWS transactions but has not asked the government to stop the sale.

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