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BT strikes blow in cable blowing patent case

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BT is blowing its own trumpet today after scoring a victory in a patent dispute.

Last summer BT began legal action in the US against six companies concerning patents for blowing fibre optic cables down bores and conduits.

BT's blown cable technology uses compressed air and other gasses to blow fibre optic cables down conduits, as opposed to pulling them through using ropes, for example.

Yesterday, the UK's dominant fixed line telco announced it had settled its litigation against Broadwing Communications, Inc. after the US communications outfit agreed to cough up to licence the use of the blown cable technology.

Other details concerning the settlement were not disclosed.

However, BT will continue to pursue its remaining litigation in the District of Delaware against other telecommunications companies, namely Level 3, Qwest, SBC, Touch America, and Verizon.

BT maintains that its fibre-blowing technology has been used to create "significant portions of the extensive fibre optic cable networks" in the US. The technology was also awarded the Queen's Award for Technological Achievement in 1994.

Last year BT failed to get US ISPs to pay for using hyperlinks after a court ruled against its claim that it owned the patent for "hidden page" technology. ®

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