Netflix Gets Two Patent Claims Dismissed


SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A federal judge tossed two of three patent infringement claims against Netflix.
     OpenTV, a software developer, originally claimed that Netflix infringed seven of its patents.
     Netflix moved for three of the infringement claims to be judged invalid.
     The first patent in question, the ‘169 patent, “is directed at fulfilling a need for a ‘more flexible scheme’ for addressing the growing ability of modern television receivers to access an ever-wider range of data and resources,” the ruling states.
     Though Netflix contended that this infringement claim was “directed to an abstract idea,” U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg found the claim valid because the patent is rooted in specific computer technology and practices.
     The second patent, the ‘691 patent, is for a system “to allow advertisers to direct customized ads to individuals based on data gathered as to those individuals’ specific interests and possible needs.”
     Netflix also claimed that this claim spoke to an abstract idea, which Seeborg declared accurate.
     “The concept of gathering information about one’s intended market and attempting to customize that information is as old as the saying, ‘know your audience,'” the ruling states.
     On this basis, Seeborg deemed the infringement claim for the ‘691 patent invalid, since the patent is based on “long prevalent” concepts.
     The third patent, the ‘268 patent, is for a method whose purpose “lies in using predictions of when users will be logged in to the Internet, for purposes of scheduling delivery of advertising to them in a more efficient manner.”
     Seeborg granted Netflix’s motion to declare the ‘268 patent invalid because it did not include “patent-eligible subject matter,” but describes “an abstract idea, devoid of a concrete or tangible application.”
     Neither OpenTV nor Netflix could be reached for comment Tuesday.
     OpenTV was represented by John Richard Edwards, with Kirkland & Ellis in Palo Alto; Netflix by Jack Blumenfeld, with Morris Nichols in Wilmington, Del.

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