By Andrew Chung
(Reuters) - AT&T is suing Cox Communications for infringing eight patents dealing with network quality after the regional cable provider ignored its complaints about the issue and made "billions" off of the technology, according to a new lawsuit.
In the suit filed Friday in Delaware federal court against Cox and more than 30 of its regional units, AT&T said that Cox had been warned about the claims of patent infringement as far back as 2009. It said Cox delayed negotiations and refused to take a license for the technologies.
AT&T claims the patents were infringed in Cox's use and sale of digital video recorders, set top boxes, Internet and telephone systems, according to the lawsuit.
The patents relate to methods for improving the quality and reducing the costs of telecommunications services, the suit said.
AT&T said in the suit that Cox was also inducing its employees and subscribers to infringe.
"(Cox) generates billions of dollars in revenue every year through its use of AT&T's technologies," the telecommunications giant said, adding that the lawsuit is necessary to prove AT&T is owed royalty payments for the alleged unauthorized use of its inventions.
A representative from Cox said the company just learned of the case and had no comment. Attorneys for AT&T also could not immediately be reached.
AT&T is asking the court to declare Cox's infringement "wilful and deliberate" and seeks unspecified damages. It also wants the court to order Cox to pay a "compulsory, ongoing" royalty to AT&T.
The case is AT&T Intellectual Property I, LP, and AT&T Intellectual Property II, LP, v. Cox Communications et al, No. 14-cv-01106.
(Reporting By Andrew Chung; Editing by Ted Botha and Alden Bentley)