Wednesday, March 12, 2014

CRFD Research Sues Netflix over In-Session Handoff Patent

Case Filed: Mar 07, 2014

Court: Delaware District Court

Case Summary:

CRFD Research, Inc. (a subsidiary of Marathon), a Virginia-based patent licensing company filed a suit against Netflix, an Internet subscription service company alleging infringement of the patent US7191233 entitled ‘System for automated, mid-session, user-directed, device-to-device session transfer system’. The patent was originally issued to Tele Communication Systems, Inc. on Mar 13, 2007 and expires[i] by Sep 17, 2021. The patent is currently assigned[ii] to CRFD (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database).

The complaint said, defendant makes, uses, sells, leases, imports and offers for sale products that allow users to transfer an on-going software session from one device to another device, including its streaming video services and device applications (infringing products).

The complaint further added that defendant purports that a user can “continue watching something [on a device], even if [the user] started watching on a different device”, which in a manner is claimed in the ‘233 patent.

CRFD claims that Netflix knew that the accused products constitute a material part of the inventions of the ’233 patent. As a result of Netflix’s infringement of the ’233 patent, CRFD has suffered and will continue to suffer damage and stated that they are entitled to recover damages adequate to compensate for such infringement, which have yet to be determined.

Other than suing Netflix, CRFD Research has filed four patent infringement suits against Hulu, Spotify, Amazon and Verizon all in the Delaware District Court asserting two patents US7191233 and US7574486.

See 1:14-cv-00314 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.

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[i] Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents.
[ii] MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded.

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