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Blockbuster, Netflix Win Patent Litigation

7 Dec, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Blockbuster and Netflix have been declared not guilty to violating a third-party’s technology that notifies customers electronically about the status of their DVD-by-mail rental accounts.

A U.S. District Court judge in Northern California Dec. 3 ruled in favor of the DVD rental companies’ bid for summary non-infringement regarding the patented technology from Tulsa, Okla.-based Media Queue LLC, according to a court filing.

Media Queue Oct. 24, 2008, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Netflix, Blockbuster and online video game rental service GameFly, alleging the services violated its “243” technology that contacts customers by e-mail.

Though the case was filed in Oklahoma, magistrate judge Kimberly West in February transferred the case to California, calling the relationship between the defendants and the district where the suit was originally filed “at best, random and minimal,” according to court records.

GameFly, which has separate litigation pending against the U.S Postal Service for alleged favorable handling of Netflix DVD and Blu-ray rental disc, and Media Queue settled out of court in March.

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