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Judge Allows Blockbuster/Netflix Countersuit

23 Aug, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

A federal judge in San Francisco last week denied motions by online rental pioneer Netflix to dismiss a counter antitrust lawsuit filed by Blockbuster Inc. Judge William Alsup said Netflix had not demonstrated it would suffer “if the proceedings go forward.”

In April, Netflix filed a patent-infringement suit against Big Blue seeking to shutter Blockbuster Online. Blockbuster in June countered alleging that Netflix had attempted “to monopolize the DVD rental market through fraudulent patenting and sham litigation.”

Blockbuster spokesperson Randy Hargove said, “we are pleased with the ruling, and remain intent on aggressively pursuing our antitrust counterclaims.”

Patent attorney Victor de Gyarfas with Foley & Lardner LLP in Los Angeles said Netflix's move to dismiss Blockbuster's counter claim was standard procedure in litigation he said would likely last several years.

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