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Another Victory for Netflix in a Patent Litigation Matter

July 17, 2023
Business Litigation Reports

The firm has once again emerged victorious for its client Netflix in a high-stakes patent case brought by DivX in Germany involving complex video streaming technology. In its first-instance decision, which issued in June 2023, the Federal Patent Court invalidated in its entirety the European Patent EP 2 661 696 owned by DivX . This victory comes as part of a series of crucial wins for Netflix. The firm's exceptional legal and technical expertise enabled them to thereby counter a prior unfavorable infringement ruling based on this patent, which, among other things, enjoined Netflix to use the claimed technology.

DivX filed numerous lawsuits against Netflix in multiple jurisdictions around the world (United States, Germany, Brazil, Netherlands) for alleged patent infringement. In Germany, DivX asserts in total two patents relating to video streaming technology, the heart of Netflix’s business, seeking injunctive relief as well as financial compensation for damages. DivX was initially granted two injunctions in first instance (appeal pending) by the infringement court, the District Court Mannheim – due to the German bifurcation system, validity and infringement are decided in different venues. DivX has already begun to preliminary enforce these two judgments to put maximum pressure on Netflix. However, DivX’s triumph was short-lived as the two patents were subsequently invalidated in the first instance by the Federal Patent Court and the European Office.

Already in March 2023 the European Office revoked the EP 3 467 666, the other patent, which DivX asserted in Germany and the Netherlands. Now with the ruling of the Federal Patent Court also the validity of the second asserted patent has been successfully challenged by the firm and thereby we completely turned the tide in favor of Netflix on the German battleground. The Federal Patent Court ruled that the subject-matter of the EP 696 is not novel over the cited prior art as well inadmissibly extended. DivX attempted to save the patent in part by filing eight auxiliary requests, but the firm was able to convince the court, that even these were not able to overcome the lack of patentability and therefore fought off every single auxiliary request, resulting in a complete nullification of the EP 696 patent. It is expected, that DivX will lodge an appeal, however the firm is looking forward to having this appeal dismissed by the Federal Supreme Court and securing the final victory for its client.