January 15, 2007, 12:00 AM

Lycos files patent infringement suit against Netflix and Blockbuster

Internet search engine Lycos Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Netflix Inc. and Blockbuster Inc., charging the two companies’ online DVD recommendation systems violate Lycos’ patents on collaborative filtering technology.

 

Internet search engine Lycos Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Netflix Inc. and Blockbuster Inc., charging the two companies’ online DVD recommendation systems violate Lycos’ patents on collaborative information filtering technology. TiVo Inc., a pioneer in digital TV recording, also is named in the suit.

The lawsuit, filed Jan. 3 in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, VA, alleges that Netflix, Blockbuster and TiVo base their automated recommendation systems on a family of patents developed and refined by Lycos in the mid to late 1990s, a Lycos spokesman says.

Lycos is seeking an injunction preventing Blockbuster, Netflix and TiVo from using the filtering technology. It also asks for an unspecified amount of damages for the infringement and interest on the damages.

Blockbuster and Netflix spokesmen declined comment on the suit.

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