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Netflix receives Injuction prohibiting use of its high-resolution video compression technology on its streaming platforms in Brazil

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On June 20, Netflix received an injunction ordering it to suspend within 30 days the use of its high-resolution video compression system on its streaming platforms in Brazil, under penalty of a daily fine of BRL 50,000.00.

The aforementioned lawsuit has as its author the company DivX, which has an invention patent for a method that allows video files to be compressed, maintaining their image quality and thus facilitating their digital transmission, especially in high quality videos, like the ones in 4k.

The Brazilian patent number PI 0506163-6 describes a technology that would be of great use for the compression of videos encoded in the HEVC format (High Efficiency Video Coding), which is a video compression standard that offers high efficiency and high image quality when playing itsr content.

The Plaintiff also alleges that Netflix refuses to obtain the license to use this technology, which motivated the filing of the lawsuit by DivX and which resulted in the following decision, in an injunction by the Judge of first instance:

That said, I partially grant the appeal to: 1) determine that Netflix refrain from using, within 30 (thirty) days from this date, the deblocking filter protected by patent PI 0506163-6, until the judgment of the merits of the lawsuit in the first instance, ensuring the continuity of fruition of the HEVC standard; 2) revoke the reversal of the burden of proof, which must be reconsidered at the appropriate procedural moment. In other terms, the appealed decision remains unchanged. (Complete in the records – pages 4439/4447)

In its defense, Netflix alleges that DivX omits some relevant facts in the lawsuit, such as that similar lawsuit is pending in the US, and that DivX has already had unfavorable decisions on the validity of its patent there. Furthermore, it is alleged that the content of that patent is not used by Netflix and that the patent would not even relate to the fundamental part of the HVEC technology, which belongs to a patent licensing pool, of which DivX is not a part.

The lawsuit must now proceed to the court expert phase, where the technical allegations will be analyzed by a court appointed expert specialized in the area and by the technical assistants of the respective parties.

Process nº 0214224-53.2020.8.19.0001

Claim 1 of Brazilian Patent PI 0506163-6:

DivX Patent

1. Method of unlocking a reconstructed video frame, characterized in that it comprises the steps of:
identifying a boundary between two blocks of the reconstructed video frame;
determining the level of detail of the reconstructed video frame through a region in which the block boundary is located, where the region includes multi-line and multi-column pixels of the reconstructed video frame that encompass pixels immediately adjacent to at least two sides of the block boundary and includes at least one pixel that is not immediately adjacent to the block boundary;
selecting a filter to apply to predetermined levels on one side of the block boundary based on the given level of detail.

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