Netflix, Kudelski Group hug it out on patent impasse

The Kudelski Group and Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) announced that they've entered a long-term, "comprehensive" product relationship, dismissed all U.S. patent litigation over Kudelski-owned Nagra and OpenTV products, and put a stay on related litigation in the Netherlands.

The announcement shines a positive light on both companies in the sometimes-murky and bitter waters of technology patents.

Under the agreement, Kudelski will "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.

Neither company offered additional comment on the agreement.

In 2012, OpenTV filed a suit against Netflix claiming the SVOD provider was violating seven of its patents. It filed another suit in 2013 in the Netherlands, about three weeks after Netflix launched its service in that country, saying that the service was infringing on several more of its patents.

OpenTV, which is a subsidiary of Nagra, holds at least 800 patents related to digital television; Kudelski Group, based in Switzerland, reportedly holds 4,200 technology patents in total, over 3,000 of them related to digital TV.

In December, a Dutch court dismissed one of OpenTV's two suits against Netflix, saying that the patent in question was "basically worthless," according to Broadband TV News. OpenTV had to pay Netflix's legal costs of €234,475 ($276,095) in that case.

For more:
- see the announcement

Related articles:
IP litigation as competition: OpenTV, Nagra file another patent suit against Netflix
Netflix has bright European future, but analysts sound caution about costs
Google settles patent litigation with Apple-backed Rockstar consortium

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