MoviePass Sues Competitor for Patent Infringement

(CN) – MoviePass, the subscription-based movie ticket service, filed a lawsuit against competitor Sinemia for patent infringement on Friday, claiming that the rival company offers a service that’s “remarkably similar.”

Filed in federal court in the Central District of California, the lawsuit alleges that Sinemia launched a similar service, in violation of MoviePass’ patents. MoviePass offers its customers the ability to see any non-premium film once a day at theaters for a monthly fee.

Under Sinemia’s service, customers can opt to receive two or three tickets a month for a monthly fee. While MoviePass only allows same day sales, Sinemia can be used for advance ticket sales and one ticket a month can be used for premium screens.

MoviePass has substantially grown over the past year as it lowered its monthly fee to under $10, effectively subsidizing its customers movie ticket purchases. In December, the company announced that it had gained a million subscribers in just four months, faster than streaming services Netflix and Hulu.

The patents it holds, issued in 2013, largely have to do with the app technology behind the service.

“MoviePass has been harmed as a direct and proximate result of Sinemia’s infringement of the MoviePass patents,” the eight-page lawsuit states. “Sinemia’s infringement has harmed MoviePass’s existing customer relationships, has harmed MoviePass’s ability to obtain new customers and form new customer relationships, and has harmed MoviePass’s standing in the movie-subscription marketplace.”

The lawsuit calls for punitive and actual damages, as well as an injunction against Sinemia. MoviePass is represented by Nicholas Brown of Greenberg Traurig LLP.

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