German Court Orders Netflix to Stop Using Broadcom Technology to Stream UHD Content

A District Court of Munich, Germany, has ruled that Netflix is illegally using a patent held by San Jose, Calif.-based Broadcom related to HEVC/H.265 video coding, which is used for ultra high-definition streaming. The court issued an injunction Sept. 19 requiring Netflix to cease and desist all further use of the patented software for streaming video in Germany.

The streamer currently has more than 13.2 million subscribers in Germany since launching in the country in 2014.

Since 2018, Netflix and Broadcom have been engaged in a wide-ranging patent dispute whereby Broadcom has accused Netflix of infringing numerous U.S., German, and Dutch patents operating as the largest subscription streaming VOD service in the world.

The European patent at issue — EP 2 575 366 (“‘366 Patent”) — covers key features of digital video processing often used in HEVC/H.265 video coding. The resulting injunction prohibits Netflix from providing certain video streaming utilizing Broadcom’s patented technology.

“Netflix has built a robust video streaming business that relies on Broadcom’s patented technology to deliver content to its users, and Broadcom is pleased to see this recognized by the German court,” Mark Terrano, VP and GM of Broadcom’s Intellectual Property and Licensing Division, said in a statement.

A representative from Netflix was not immediately available for comment.

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Roku Beats $41 Million Patent Infringement Case

A Texas jury Oct. 14 denied a $41 million patent infringement claim against Roku by MV3 Partners LLC that alleged the Los Gatos, Calif.-based manufacturer of streaming media devices and Internet-connected televisions violated its technology patents.

The seven-person jury in the Federal District Court for the Western District of Texas in Waco deliberated five hours before reaching its verdict after the five-day trial. In a statement, Roku said it was pleased with the outcome.

“We are pleased with today’s non-infringement verdict, which vindicates our position that Roku has no liability to MV3 Partners in this case,” Joe Hollinger, VP of litigation and intellectual property at Roku, said in a statement. “We appreciate the efforts of the court and jury during these challenging times.”

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In the complaint, filed last year, MV3 Partners alleged that Roku earns “hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and profit selling streaming media players and smart TVs nationwide that incorporate MV3’s patented mobile streaming invention,” all without payment to or license from MV3.

The company’s lawyer last year, in a press release, claimed the case would be a watershed moment for the multi-billion dollar streaming content industry, encompassing giants such as Netflix, Disney, Hulu, Amazon and Apple.

Jonathan Waldrop,  the patent litigator working for MV3 Partners, said the case was the beginning of MV3’s campaign to obtain just compensation for the use of its technology by key streaming device manufacturers such as Roku, Microsoft, Samsung and Apple.

It wasn’t immediately clear if MV3 Partners would appeal the decision.