Netflix hit by patent suit over viewer data, digital rights management

Summary:Netflix is being sued by an interactive TV solutions provider over at least seven U.S. patents regarding digital rights management and how viewer data is used.

Netflix has been slapped with a patent lawsuit over a number of issues related to digital rights and data management.

OpenTV, an interactive television solutions provider, is suing the online rental giant over seven U.S. patents related to over-the-top TV technology (OTT), Reuters reported today.

These patents cover solutions from video playback to how viewer data is used to make content recommendations.

OpenTV's Switzerland-based parent company, Kudelski SA, reportedly filed the suit on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, but a copy of the complaint is not online yet.

Kudelski specializes in producing hardware and software for digital security and convergent media platforms for the purpose of delivering digital media.

According to Reuters, Kudelski reps said in the complaint, "Companies like Netflix have, in essence, stood on the shoulders of giants, largely focusing their R&D efforts on aggregating these previously patented technologies and using them to provide a rich customer experience."

Netflix has been involved in a few patent legal battles in the past, most of which took place a few years back against major foe Blockbuster.

One of Netflix's more recent legal happenings wrapped up in October when the digital streaming business settled a two-year class action lawsuit with the National Association for the Deaf. Under that deal, Netflix promised to add captions to 100 percent of its video library by 2014.

Oh, and don't forget about the little spat that started earlier this month between Netflix and the SEC after CEO Reed Hastings shared a little more about the company than maybe he should have on his Facebook page.

Topics: Legal, Apps, Patents, Tech Industry

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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