* U.S. Federal Circuit upholds lower court decision
* Agrees Cox did not infringe, some Verizon claims invalid (Adds comment from Verizon, Cox)
WASHINGTON, April 16 (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court backed Cox Communications Inc [COXC.UL], ruling it did not infringe Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) patents for running an efficient telephone network.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld on Friday a lower court decision that some of the claims at issue in the six Verizon patents were invalid and that Cox did not infringe the rest.
In a lawsuit filed in January 2008, Verizon had accused Cox of infringing six patents for running a telephone network by breaking up voice signals and sending the resulting information as “packets,” which is more efficient than maintaining a dedicated path between the two telephones.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia had found that the portions of the patents — also called “claims” — which were relevant to the suit were invalid. It also found that Cox did not infringe the other two.
The appeals court also declined Verizon’s request to overturn the finding that the claims were invalid.
It was not immediately clear if Verizon would appeal.
“Today’s narrow decision was based on six of our many thousands of patents, and we will continue to promote our innovations through patent licensing as well as monitor for unlawful infringement,” said Verizon Deputy General Counsel John Thorne in an email statement.
Cox Communications spokesman David Grabert noted that the ruling was an across-the-board win for Cox. “We are very pleased that the appeals court affirmed the jury’s decision in all respects,” he told Reuters.
The case is Verizon Communications Inc, MCI Communications Corp v. Cox Communications, Nos. 09-1086 and 09-1098. (Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Tim Dobbyn and Richard Chang)