RealTime IT News

Movielink Sued for Patent Violations

Movielink, a joint venture of five Hollywood movies studios, is facing a patent infringement lawsuit from USA Video over video-on-demand technology.

USA Video Technology filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware against Movielink claiming the venture violated its patent for online movie delivery.

Back in July 1992, USA Video Interactive, the parent of USA Video Technology, won a patent known as the "store and forward video system," which refers for Internet users to request and receive "a digitized video program for storage and viewing," according to the suit.

Movielink sells digital versions of a catalog of films for download by broadband users, and USA Video alleges the movie companies are in violation of its patent.

USA Video appears to be more interested in selling Internet-based video services and systems, than competing with Movielink, but is taking legal action now to protect what it sees as within the purview of its patent.

This isn't the first time that Movielink has faced legal action concerning its downloadable movies-on-demand service. Back in September, Intertainer filed a suit against Movielink and its partner movie studios over alleged collusion to restrict contacts with competitors. Intertainer closed soon after filing its litigation.

Movielink's is comprised of Viacom's Paramount Pictures, AOL Time Warner's Warner Brothers, Sony's Sony Pictures Entertainment, Vivendi Universal's Universal Pictures, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer . The venture was launched in November 2002.

USA Video is asking the Delaware district court for a "declaratory judgment of both infringement and willful infringement, permanent injunctive relief, compensatory and treble damages, interest, legal costs, as well as a jury trial on all appropriate issues," according to a company statement.

The company call itself "a developer, supplier and owner of the patent-in-suit that covers media delivery services that allow Internet users to request and receive digitized movies online. According to court papers being filed by intellectual property attorneys at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Movielink has been making, using, selling and offering to sell systems and services that infringe upon U.S. Patent No. 5,130,792 for this technology."

Movielink officials weren't immediately available for comment.