Broadcom is trumpeting another legal victory in its IP fight with Netflix in Germany, announcing that the German Federal Patent Court has issued a preliminary opinion that a Broadcom patent related to HEVC/H.265 video encoding is valid.
The declaration comes after a Munich court ruled in September that Netflix's use of HEVC, a codec used for transporting 4K video also known as H.265, violates Broadcom's "'366" patent.
Netflix apparently didn't abide by the Munich court's injunction, so Broadcom sought the Federal Patent Court ruling. Broadcom said it also filed a motion with the Munich court, seeking penalties for Netflix's alleged violation of its patent.
"Under section 890 of the German Civil Procedure Code, penalties for violating the injunction include: (1) government fines of up to €250,000 for each act of infringement, such as each time Netflix sends an infringing video stream to a German subscriber; and/or (2) up to six month’s imprisonment for members of the infringer’s board of directors," Broadcom says in its press release announcing the Patent Court decision.
The German Federal Patent Court is scheduled to give a final ruling on the matter on July 18, 2024, after hearing oral arguments.
Netflix has yet to publicly comment on the injunction.
Netflix and Broadcom have been beefing since 2018, with the video tech company also contesting Dutch and U.S. patents related to HEVC. And it's likely not the last patent dispute we'll see tied to use of HEVC.
Within its Europe/Middle East/Africa region quadrant, Germany is Netflix's second largest market next to the UK, with over 10 million paid users in 2021, according to Statista.