Print 22 comment(s) - last by Christopher1.. on Aug 27 at 3:19 AM

Blockbuster and NetFlix are still at it

Now that the Apple v. Creative insanity has begun to die down, another equally outlandish lawsuit has taken the crown. On August 17, 2006, Blockbuster filed a motion to dismiss an injunction filed by NetFlix attempting to prohibit Blockbuster from offering movie rentals online claiming Blockbuster infringed on NetFlix patents for its distribution method.

The same San Francisco judge responsible for the NetFlix v. Blockbuster case, US District Judge William Alsup, will now be responsible for the official proceedings of Blockbuster v. NetFlix. Although NetFlix counsel has claimed that the newest proceeding should be separate from the previous IP case, Judge Alsup claims Blockbuster does indeed have enough evidence for an anti-trust case. 

"As a result of NetFlix's purported monopolistic conduct, Blockbuster may be forced out of the market, which would cede to Netflix virtually complete control of the online-DVD market," Alsup wrote during the acknowledgement letter to open the case.  Since the same judge is handling both cases, the most likely outcome is that NetFlix will either be found correct in its assertion that Blockbuster has infringed upon its intellectual property, but is subsequently a monopoly; or that Blockbuster does not infringe upon NetFlix IP and thus NetFlix could not be a monopoly.  Talk about damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Of course things could go even more horribly wrong if Alsup finds NetFlix in the position of a monopoly and that Blockbuster has infringed on no patents either. 

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blockbuster can die
By kattanna on 8/24/2006 3:19:07 PM , Rating: 2
i would pop a bottle of champagne if blockbuster died and went away..damn late fee thieves

also you state:

prohibit Blockbuster from offering movie downloads online

its not downloads..but rentals.

RE: blockbuster can die
By ninjit on 8/24/2006 3:26:49 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, the Netflix patent is for the online DVD rental system, not movie downloads.

RE: blockbuster can die
By shabodah on 8/24/2006 4:25:53 PM , Rating: 2
There is no reason a patent should be granted for such a simple distribution system. I don't like Blockbuster, But they have no business going after Netflix and vice-versa. Competition = capitalism at its best.

RE: blockbuster can die
By Christopher1 on 8/27/2006 3:16:40 AM , Rating: 1
True. Capitalism works in this case, because movies are a extra to life.

There also should not have been a patent issued for a distribution system that anyone with a first grade education could have come up with. Though, most patents and copyrights shouldn't have been issued in my opinion.

RE: blockbuster can die
By feelingshorter on 8/24/2006 4:16:00 PM , Rating: 2
I hate blockbuster. Overpriced and huge late fees.

RE: blockbuster can die
By QueBert on 8/24/2006 5:15:59 PM , Rating: 2
how hard is it to return a movie on time? I don't think they have "huge late fees" charging your Visa the full amount of the movie until it's returned is great modivation to get the movies you rent back on time. if I rent a car and don't return it on the due date, I get charged more?
Not exactly a fan of Blockbuster and their "you have to pass a credit check just to get a damn membership with us" But they are resonable with the late fees, because it is the persons fault the movie is late, not Blockbusters.

RE: blockbuster can die
By othercents on 8/24/2006 7:24:11 PM , Rating: 3
Actually I use to use Blockbuster all the time and quit because they consistantly lost my DVDs for at least 3 day or so. I even had evidence that I brought the DVD back on time and it still showed up 3 days late. You would think that the employee would check the movie in on time if they signed a form saying I returned it on time.


RE: blockbuster can die
By Christopher1 on 8/27/2006 3:19:09 AM , Rating: 1
The problems with Blockbuster's system in stores and so forth, is that they rely on lazy people actually bothering to check the DVD return slot every now and again.
Most times, the movies pile up in there and no one in the store wants to check it.

I've had the same problem with Blockbuster, where I return a DVD and I still get charges a late fee because the DVD is never put back into their system as being returned until a day or so later.

RE: blockbuster can die
By Avalon on 8/25/2006 12:25:36 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know about you, but I can handle a $1.50 late fee for keeping a movie out a week past the due date. If you can't get it back within a month, you don't deserve to be renting movies, and you DO deserve to pay for the price of the movie.

If I let someone borrow one of my DVDs, and they didn't return it after a month even after I called them or reminded them about it, you can bet I'd have them buy me another one.

The web is all over soon...
By L1NUXownz1fUR1337 on 8/24/2006 11:08:39 PM , Rating: 1
I just filed patents for posting comments on web article.

Get out your checkbooks because I'm contacting johny c.

RE: The web is all over soon...
By johnsonx on 8/25/2006 1:24:46 AM , Rating: 2
I'm contacting johny c.

err.... if you're referring to who I think you're referring too, you'll have a hard time contacting him. He's dead.

RE: The web is all over soon...
By Xponential on 8/25/2006 3:40:26 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, I was thinking the exact same thing.

doesn't that seem strange...
By Quiksel on 8/24/2006 1:55:58 PM , Rating: 2
...that Alsup can preside over both cases? I didn't know they could do that...


RE: doesn't that seem strange...
By Ard on 8/24/2006 6:17:26 PM , Rating: 2
BlockBuster is filing a counter-claim to NetFlix's patent infringement claim. Since the claims are essentially related (derived from the same "nucleus of operative fact"), there's no problem with the same judge presiding over both claims and merging them into one case rather than splitting them into different cases (splitting them might also lead to claim preclusion later on).

patent shenanigans?
By JeffDM on 8/24/2006 11:14:36 PM , Rating: 2
I don't have a problem with the original intent of patents, but I definitely have a problem with patenting business methods, I don't understand why or how they were allowed.

RE: patent shenanigans?
By mushi799 on 8/25/2006 12:29:52 AM , Rating: 2
so people won't jack ur ideas, like what blockbuster is doing

Play nice
By INeedCache on 8/24/2006 3:19:07 PM , Rating: 2
I sure hope the children play nice in the sandbox.

RE: Play nice
By dice1111 on 8/24/2006 4:45:42 PM , Rating: 1
I 8 the sandbox... DOH

Won't be suing me.....
By BGZ HIV on 8/25/2006 12:32:03 AM , Rating: 2
Johnny C is dead.

How is Netflix the monopoly?
By Milliamp on 8/25/2006 3:15:00 AM , Rating: 2
Being a market leader alone does not mean you control a monopoly.

Also, what of all the years blockbuster has been the dominant brick and mortar store for movie rentals?

By Nightskyre on 8/24/06, Rating: -1
RE: Correction
By oTAL on 8/24/06, Rating: 0
"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home
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