OpenTV Sues Netflix Again

OpenTV, a video software firm acquired by the Kudelski Group in 2009, said it has filed a lawsuit in the District Court of the Haugue in the Netherlands on allegations that the video streaming giant is infringing several patents.

The suit enters play about three weeks after Netflix launched an over-the-top video streaming service for the Netherlands that runs €7.99 per month (US$10.59), offering access on a variety of devices, including the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Apple TV box, Wii, Wii U, and several smart TV models.

OpenTV, which did not disclose the patents in question in this case, said it is seeking to enjoin Netflix from further infringement by its recent launch in the Netherlands, “among other relief.”

A Kudelski official would only say that "this case involves patented technology developed by OpenTV that we believe is critical to Netflix’s video delivery infrastructure and user experience. However, we cannot comment substantively on active litigation matters."

But it marks the second time OpenTV has gone after Netflix. OpenTV filed a similar suit against Netflix in December 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the  District of Delaware, claiming that it had been unsuccessful in negotiating a licensing deal for OpenTV’s portfolio of intellectual property.  OpenTV’s U.S. lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages and a permanent injunction barring Netflix from using the seven patents in question:

- No. 6,018,768: “Enhanced Video Programming System and Method for Incorporating and Displaying Retrieved Integrated Internet Information Segments”;
- No. 6,233,736:  “Media Online Service Access System and Method”;
- No. 7,055,169: “Supporting Common Interactive Television Functionality Through Presentation Engine Syntax”;
- No. 7,409,437: “Enhanced Video Programming System and Method for Incorporating and Displaying Retrieved Integrated Internet Information Segments”;
- No. 7,490,346: “Digital Television Application Protocol for Interactive Television”;
- No. 7,949,722, “Enhanced Video Programming System and Method Utilizing User-Profile Information”; and,
No. 8,107,786: “Systems and Methods to Modify Playout or Playback.”

Switzerland-based Kudelski, the parent of both OpenTV and video security firm Nagra, said it provides security and video software to more than 100 pay-TV operators worldwide and holds more than 4,200 issued and pending patents.

“The Group has invested billions of dollars over the past several decades in innovation and R&D and has successfully brought its technologies to market through advanced solutions, technology transfer and IP licensing,” Joe Chernesky, Kudelski’s SVP of intellectual property and innovation, said in a statement. “The Group remains committed to protecting its substantial and ongoing investment in innovation for the benefit of the digital video ecosystem.”

Netflix has been asked to comment.