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Kudelski Group Takes on the NFL Over Patent Infringement

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Will the NFL get sacked over patent infringement? Swiss digital security company Kudelski Group is taking the NFL to court charging it with infringement of seven video streaming patents and one patent for security software. Kudelski opened the suit through a California-based subsidiary, OpenTV Inc.

The suit, filed in federal court in Texas, alleges that NFL.com, the league's fantasy football app, and other connected ventures such as NFL Now, NFL Game Pass, NFL Mobile, and NFL Redzone use Kudelski intellectual property from seven patents.

Some of the patents involved are for ways to insert content into video streams, let viewers interact with videos, and link multiple sets of video metadata. Others are for combining multiple data streams into one broadcast stream, and linking streamed videos to other websites. OpenTV says it notified NFL Enterprises of infringement in November 2015, but didn't get a response.

OpenTV is asking for reimbursement of triple the amount of damages due to willful infringement, as well as interest, court costs, and lawyer fees. It's also seeking an order stopping the NFL from infringing its patents in the future.

This is hardly the first time OpenTV has taken major players to court over patent infringement. In 2013, it filed suit against Netflix in multiple countries for infringement of seven patents. That litigation ended in 2015 when the two companies formed a long-term product relationship. A similar suit against Apple ended last year when the two companies came to a patent license agreement. A suit against Hulu also ended in an agreement. In 2016, OpenTV counter-sued Yahoo for infringing on 10 patents. That was dropped when Yahoo agreed to a one-time license fee payment.

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