Netflix Moves for Judgment on the Pleadings in Patent Suit Against Individual Inventor

On Tuesday, defendant Netflix Inc. filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings under in a patent infringement suit filled against it by plaintiff Lauri Valjakka.

In his Third Amended Complaint, the plaintiff alleges that Netflix has infringed two of his patents: the “ ‘102 patent” titled “Method Of and Systems For Providing Access to Access Restricted Content to a User”; and the “ ‘167 patent” titled “Data Communications Networks, Systems, Methods and Apparatus.”

In its Memorandum of Points and Authorities in support of its motion to dismiss, Netflix argues that the plaintiff’s ‘102 patent is “ … ineligible under Section 101 [35 U.S.C. Section 101-Inventions Patentable] because it is directed to the abstract idea of providing restricted access to content involving multiple validation rules,” which Plaintiff characterizes as “a method of organizing human activity that existed well before the advent of computers and computer networks.” Moreover, Plaintiff argues that the only “asserted claim” relating to the ‘102 patent contains no “inventive concept.”

As to the ‘167 patent, Netflix characterizes it as “… being directed to the abstract idea of distributing the delivery of content among multiple actors. Rather than have a single computer server handle content requests from multiple devices, the ‘167 [patent] teaches distributing the load across additional servers known as relay servers.” Accordingly, “Independent claim 1 [of the’167 patent, which ‘the parties appear to agree is representative”] does not contain an inventive concept.”

Netflix’s argument for dismissal of both patent claims is largely based on its analysis of the US Supreme Court opinion in Alice Corp. Pty. v. CLS Bank International, 573 U.S. 208 (2014).

Netflix also argues that leave to amend would be futile. “Valjakka has had three chances to amend his complaint but has not added, and cannot add, any plausible factual allegations in support of patent eligibility.”  Absent dismissal or postponement, trial is scheduled for February 5, 2024.

Plaintiff’s counsel are Mahamedi IP Law LLP and Ramey. Defendant’s counsel is Perkins Coie.