California residents may be interested to learn about the ongoing intellectual property dispute between Netflix, Inc. and Rovi Corporation. According to a statement from Rovi, the company will continue to pursue its claims against Netflix until it is able to obtain the necessary licenses. The litigation involves five patents that are related to various aspects of Netflix's over-the-top video service.
A judge issued a ruling in favor of Netflix on July 15. In her ruling, the judge granted Netflix its motion for summary judgment on the five patents in question. The judge found that the five patents were not valid because they did not cover subject matter that is patentable, according to the 2014 Supreme Court ruling in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International. Part of the judge's decision also included a claim construction ruling that was in favor of Rovi.
Rovi's executive vice president of intellectual property and licensing responded to the court decision by saying that Rovi strongly disagreed with the ruling and planned to appeal it. However, he did say that Rovi was pleased with the judge's decision to side with Rovi on claim construction. He also pointed out that Netflix initiated the litigation in 2011, two years before the Supreme Court ruling in the Alice Corp. case.
It may be important for a company to work with a business and commercial law attorney to secure patent protection. An attorney may be able to help ensure that the patents the company wishes to obtain are valid and will hold up in court later on if they are challenged.
Source: Nasdaq.com, "Rovi Says Committed To Enforcing Its Intellectual Property Against Netflix," RTT News, July 16, 2015