Netflix Sues Blockbuster For Online Patent Infringement; Asks Closure

Netflix has accused rival Blockbuster of illegally copying its ideas in a patent infringement lawsuit challenging the video store chain’s recent Internet expansion. The suit mainly focuses on the online wish lists that prioritize the DVD desires of about 5.4 million people who subscribe to either Netflix or Blockbuster’s Internet service.

Netflix also believes its patents cover its most popular feature — the option of renting a DVD for an unlimited time without incurring late fees.

Reuters: The suit is asking a federal judge in Northern California to shut down Blockbuster’s 18-month-old online rental service and award Netflix damages.

Netlifx’s two patents are here: patent 1 (covers the method by which Netflix customers select and receive a certain number of movies at a time); and patent 2, granted two days ago (covers a method for subscription-based online rental).