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Netflix Sued by Broadcom Over Patent Infringement

(Image credit: Netflix)

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Netflix is being sued by Broadcom after the manufacturer of semiconductor chips for set-top boxes filed a lawsuit on March 13 in Los Angeles, which was originally reported by Variety. The lawsuit alleges that Netflix has infringed on eight patents that have ultimately contributed to the rise of cord-cutting.

The eight patents Broadcom cited in the lawsuit deal with video playback and data transmission. Broadcom claims that the patents “cover foundational technologies that are essential to various aspects of Netflix’s video streaming service, and the systems that Netflix uses to support this service.”

As a result of Netflix’s use of this technology for streaming, Broadcom also argues that Netflix causes “substantial and irreparable harm” to its ability to sell its semiconductor chips used for set-top boxes because the market for traditional cable services has declined.

Some of the technology used by Netflix, per Broadcom’s suit, includes “the Netflix systems used to ensure effective and reliable delivery of streaming content with minimal interruptions, to ensure the efficient use of Netflix server resources, and to encode Netflix streaming content in a format compatible with a large percentage of the client devices (e.g., computers, smart TVs) used to access the Netflix services.”

According to Variety’s report, Broadcom had previously filed a series of patent suits against manufacturers of Smart TVs in 2017, but were ultimately ruled against in 2018.

The full suit is available online