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Chicago bank tied to Netflix patent suit
Bloomberg News
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Published: 12/30/2008 9:21 AM | Updated: 12/30/2008 9:23 AM

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Netflix Inc. and 12 other defendants were sued for infringing a patent that sold for $1.07 million at the April auction held by Ocean Tomo, the Chicago-based IP merchant bank.

At the time of the auction, the buyer wasn't identified. According to court documents, the patent lawsuit was filed by Quito Enterprises LLC of Wilmington, Delaware, which claims to be the owner of the patent. When it was listed in the Ocean Tomo catalogue, the patent's expected value was $400,000 or more.

Listed in the catalogue as potential licensees for the patent were "documentation management software providers, Internet search engines and media technology providers."

A lawyer who claimed to have written the patent application and identified himself only as "StackYa" posted a comment on the Web site the day after the auction. He said the auction "was a great payday, but I had the foresight to create new art in a very key space that will most likely be used to improve the Internet."

According to the patent document, the application was written and handled by San Francisco's Fliesler, Dubb, Meyer & Lovejoy, now known as Fliesler Meyer.

Quito claimed Netflix, Inc., Yahoo! Inc. and 10 other defendants infringed patent 5,890,152, according to the complaint filed Dec. 26 in federal court in Miami. The patent, issued in March 1999, is for a "personal feedback browser for obtaining media files," according to the patent. The application for the patent was filed in September 1996.

All of the defendants use or sell "Internet media products and associated services that utilize the systems and methods" disclosed in the patent, according to court papers.

Quito asked the court for an order barring each defendant from further infringement and from "actively inducing infringement" by others. Additionally, it seeks unspecified money damages.

Alec Alvarez and Phillip E. Holden of The Alvarez Law Firm of Coral Gables, Florida; John F. Ward and David M. Hill of Ward & Olivo of New York; and W. Lewis Garrison Jr. and Timothy C. Davis of Heninger Garrison & Davis of Birmingham, Alabama, represent Quito Enterprises.

The case is Quito Enterprises LLC. v. Netflix Inc., 1:08- cv-23543-AJ, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Miami).