Success of BLOCKBUSTER Online(R) Draws Patent Claim, says Blockbuster
Success of BLOCKBUSTER Online(R) Draws Patent ClaimBlockbuster Inc. (NYSE:BBI) (NYSE:BBI.B) stated today in an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it believes claims recently filed against its online service by Netflix, Inc. in California federal court are without merit and that the Company intends to defend itself vigorously.
"We believe this lawsuit is an attempt by Netflix to stifle competition and, as a result, reduce consumer choice," said Shane Evangelist, senior vice president and general manager for BLOCKBUSTER Online.
BLOCKBUSTER Online, which gives subscribers one free in-store movie rental each week in addition to their DVDs through the mail, launched in August 2004 and grew its subscriber base from zero to approximately 1.2 million customers by the end of 2005.
Netflix, which appears to have singled out Blockbuster and no other online competitor for litigation, waited nearly three years after receiving its first patent and 19 months since the launch of BLOCKBUSTER Online before filing the action.
"The timing of this lawsuit appears to confirm that BLOCKBUSTER Online has emerged as a real competitive force in the online rental industry," added Evangelist. "Apparently Netflix would prefer to take us on in the courts rather than facing us in the marketplace where the consumer is the judge."
Blockbuster Inc. is a leading global provider of in-home movie and game entertainment with more than 9,000 stores throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. The company may be accessed worldwide at www.blockbuster.com .
Source: Blockbuster Inc.
DALLAS, April 6, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --