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Netflix Wins Method Patent Suit Against Rovi
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Netflix patent

Summary: Method patents are difficult to prove but with the help of Alice, courts are able to determine when patents are valid or not.

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled that while Rovi Corp. invented methods to manage their viewer’s shows, the methods are not patentable ideas. The TV listings company has been fighting Netflix over patent infringements.

  
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Rovi has five patents over their development of recommendations for viewer’s based on their past viewing habits, categories, and ability to bookmark content on multiple devices. Hamilton ruled that the patents are too broad and eliminate any other innovation in the same area. She stated “A novel abstract idea is still an abstract idea, and is therefore unpatentable” or invalid.

Rovi, once known as Macrovision, has 1,500 patents in search, management, and licensing for set-top boxes, digital video recorders, TVs, and mobile devices. They are the third-largest publicly traded nonpracticing entity.

Netflix sued Rovi in 2011 for declaratory judgment. The case was put on hold while they fought out other issues with the U.S. International Trade Commission. The U.S. Supreme Court issued Alice during that same time. Once the original suit continued, Netflix moved for summary judgment, citing Rovi’s five patents as failing the Alice test.

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Patents written broadly so that they prevent further innovation break the Supreme Court’s pre-emption rule. While Rovi may have developed the method to let viewers combine two categories into one for searching, the method cannot be patented.

Netflix was represented by the Keker & Van Net team of Ashok Ramani, Sharif Jacob, Michael Kwun, Ed Bayley, and Justina Sessions.



Source: http://www.therecorder.com/home/id=1202732386797

Photo: pr.netflix.com



 

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