A lawsuit against Netflix discussing a patent infringement charge by Divx, a company specializing in video encoding, has turned into an appeal battle in Brazilian courts. In April, the streaming service suffered a partial defeat in a lawsuit worth R $ 10 million, as a company representing the interests of the American veteran was prevented from acting as a conciliator in the case.
The Motion Picture Association of Latin America, which works with the main international filmmakers and distributors, including Netflix, requested to file a case in court as “amicus curiae”, “friends of the court”, a disgruntled party. is. To subsidize a trial magistrate.
DivX, however, filed an order with the 5th Business Court in Rio de Janeiro for the motion picture, which would not be accepted in this role, as it has ties to Netflix. In an April 7 ruling, Judge Alexandre de Carvalho Mesquita agreed with the understanding of the company that specializes in video encoding.
“Despite lengthy arguments by the applicant [Motion Picture]The fact is that the interests of the stake in this demand are predominantly private, and it is certain that the best judicial sense is that the Supreme Federal Court insisted that the demonstration intended the entity to cooperate with the court is. It is necessary that this is not a defense of private interest but, rather, is the relevant public interest ”, wrote the magistrate in the judgment.
Understand DivX vs Netflix case
The controversy began because DivX claimed to have patented a system called the Reconstructed Video Frame Unblocking Method since 2018, which allows compression of high-definition video by various electronic devices, including streaming services – basically , Technology makes it smaller, but without losing quality.
According to DivX, the platform will use this method in some (but not all) of the video files transmitted to its customers. “Author [DivX] Accusing Netflix of knowingly infringing its proprietary patent, so much so that it refuses to obtain the proper license and, even, it continues to broadcast video content for which the patent method is reproduced Requires the implementation of the unlocking method claimed by the judge ”, summarized the judge responsible for analyzing the case.
To prove patent infringement, DivX recruited six professors from five different institutions (including the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and the University of São Paulo), who confirmed that Netflix uses unlock filters registered by another company .
Thus, in the first instance, DivX obtained an injunction prohibiting the alleged illegal use of patented protected technology. Netflix appealed to stop the suspension, but the request was denied. The streaming platform then offered a deposit of $ 10 million for not suspending the technology during the process, which was accepted by Judge Andre Forta of the 24th Civil Chamber of Rio de Janeiro.
Dispute of R $ 10 million
There was no involvement of the video encoding company paying R $ 10 million for Netflix to continue using the controversial technology, which is trying to reverse the decision. DivX’s fight is to prevent the streaming service from using the technology.
“We are waiting for a decision regarding DivX’s appeal: he needs to respond to Netflix and later reconsider his last decision or seek an appeal for a decision by the collegium” of the company in Brazil. DivX and spokesperson for TV news.
“We are confident of a positive result in this resource, which was instructed with expert opinion in several areas (legal, technical, economic and audio-visual markets) to counter Netflix’s arguments and disputed decisions To demonstrate violations, ”he explains.
DivX filed suit against Netflix and Hulu in United States courts. Questioning the report of the reason for taking a new action in Brazil, the company’s defense stated that “invention patents follow the principle of territoriality and are independent – that is, it is only up to Brazilian justice to prevent patent infringement.” . Given in parents “.
Netflix uses technology that is in legal dispute in 4K and Ultra-HD resolution in HVVC format. If the court determines the suspension of this use, it will be necessary to resume part of the platform, but streaming will not go down, as the US veteran has other technologies that are registered by DivX in addition.
“Since its first expression in the lawsuit, Netflix’s main argument has been that the patent infringed in Brazil is a copy of the patent ‘US8,139,651 (US patent) and that in the United States, the divine patent has a’ serious’ face.” Defeated. Defeated in front of the American Patent and Trademark Office “, Abim explains.
“In April, the US Patent and Trademark Office confirmed the validity of DivX’s US patent, which Netflix itself claims to be similar to Brazilian patents, dismissed two lawsuits filed in the United States against it,” DivX Reported to the representative.
Purchased from last week to give its version on the case, Netflix did not send a status for the report until the conclusion of this lesson.