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Broadcom brings patent case against Netflix

March 16, 2020

Broadcom, the chipmaker for STBs, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Netflix.

The chipmaker claims that Netflix has infringed on eight patents dealing with video playback and data transmission. The suit states that Netflix’s infringement has contributed to the rise of cord-cutting, which has driven down demand for Broadcom’s chips.

“As a direct result of the on-demand streaming services provided by Netflix, the market for traditional cable services that require set top boxes has declined, and continues to decline, thereby substantially reducing Broadcom’s set top box business,” the suit states. Broadcom says it informed Netflix of the infringement in September 2019, but that Netflix has declined to engage in a negotiation to license Broadcom’s patents.

“Left with no other choice, the Broadcom Entities bring this action to protect their rights and their investment in the research and development of novel technologies,” the suit adds.

Broadcom filed a series of patent suits against manufacturers of smart TVs in 2017 but the following year, the US International Trade Commission ruled against Broadcom, finding that two of the defendants, Vizio and Sigma Designs, did not infringe on Broadcom’s patents.

In June 2019, The European Commission opened a formal antitrust investigation to assess whether Broadcom may be restricting competition through exclusivity practices, in breach of EU rules.

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