NFL is the latest target of OpenTV patent suit


The Kudelski Group’s OpenTV subsidiary has another patent infringement suit cooking, and this one is being served to NFL Enterprises.

OpenTV’s lawsuit alleges that NFL infringed on seven U.S. patents owned by OpenTV. Specifically, the suit targets the NFL’s streaming, interactive video content provided on and other NFL services, including NFL Network/NFL Redzone, NFL Now, NFL Game Pass, NFL Mobile, the NFL App, and NFL Fantasy Football.

OpenTV has built a reputation for pursuing patent litigation against of a host of streaming video operators. Last year, the company ended a patent suit against Apple over the company’s video streaming operations in the U.S. and Europe. The litigation ceased after Apple and OpenTV came to a “comprehensive patent license agreement.”

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RELATED: Netflix, Kudelski Group hug it out on patent impasse

Likewise, in 2015, OpenTV and Netflix reached a new deal after OpenTV threatened litigation. OpenTV, as part of that agreement, agreed to "pre-integrate its NAGRA anyCAST content protection and OpenTV connectware products with the Netflix service for the benefit of Kudelski's customers and prospects," according to a statement released by both companies.

That resolution came after, in 2012, OpenTV had filed a suit against Netflix for violating seven of its patents.

Last year, OpenTV also countersued Yahoo, accusing the service of infringing on 10 patents. That came in response to Yahoo’s suit attempting to prove it did not infringe on six of OpenTV’s patents while also trying to invalidate one of OpenTV’s other patents.

While Kudelski’s OpenTV group continues its patent suit legacy, fellow Kudelski company Nagra is pursuing the means to license its TVkey technology. During CES, Nagra announced that it has partnered with Samsung to create a corporate body to license the TVkey, which allows consumers to sign up for pay-TV services directly on select new Samsung TVs.

TVkey licensing terms and technical specifications are coming by mid-2017.

“We are excited to expand TVkey technology access to a wider ecosystem of industry players. It will ultimately help provide a faster route-to-market of 4K services for pay-TV operators and the 4K value chain as a whole,” said JongHee Han, executive vice president of the visual display business at Samsung Electronics, in a statement. “By opening access to the technology, we are committed to establishing TVkey as the de facto standard for access to premium pay services directly on TV sets.”

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