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
AOL Time Warner’s
Warner Brothers, Sony’s
Sony Pictures Entertainment, Vivendi Universal’s
Universal Pictures, and
. 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.