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Netflix, Blockbuster settle patent dispute

Nilay Patel

Like so many other hyped patent lawsuits before it, the Netflix / Blockbuster suit ended today with the relatively quiet announcement that both parties have settled out of court for undisclosed terms. You might remember the two rental giants taking each other to court last year -- Netflix claimed that Blockbuster had violated its business method patent for online rental services, and Blockbuster claimed that Netflix hadn't properly disclosed prior art in its patent applications. As always with these settlements, neither party is conceding anything, so it looks like Netflix gets to hold onto those patents, and Blockbuster gets to keep letting people rent movies online. At least the lawyers got something out of it.

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