Some individual or company has a patent on nearly everything that Texas residents use. This even includes the digital entertainment guides television viewers scroll through in order to find their favorite shows. Rovi Corp. claims to hold patents on several of those guides, but a federal judge recently ruled that patent law was not on their side in a dispute with Netflix.
Rovi provides entertainment guides to companies such as Time Warner Cable Inc., DISH Network Corp, Comcast Corp and DirecTV. In the past few years, the company has initiated claims against streaming services such as Amazon.com and Netflix, which are growing in popularity. Rovi says that the companies are infringing on its patents.
Therefore, it was forced to protect its intellectual property by filing suit against Netflix in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. The court's recent ruling in the case rejected Rovi's allegations that Netflix infringed on its patents. In fact, the ruling effectively invalidated Rovi's patents. The company's executive vice president of licensing and intellectual property recently released a statement in which he expressed the company's disappointment with the ruling and its intention to appeal the decision.
No further information regarding why the court ruled the way it did was provided. Federal patent law can provide companies and individuals with certain protections. However, when a Texas company or individual files a claim challenging someone else's use of a patent, a court could determine that the patent is invalid if the intellectual property is not appropriately registered or if some other deficiency is present. Therefore, it is vital that all of the legal requirements are met in order to protect the patent holder.
Source: Reuters, "Rovi to appeal court order favoring Netflix in patent case", Supriya Kurane, July 16, 2015