Broadcom lawsuit blames your Netflix habit for a drop in chip sales

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Broadcom's success still depends in part on selling chips for cable set-top boxes, and it's apparently upset that TV viewers are headed elsewhere. The company has sued Netflix for allegedly violating eight patents covering data transfer and video playback, and that the streaming service is profiting from that claimed infringement by encouraging cord-cutting and hurting Broadcom's chip sales. In other words, it believes your Witcher marathon hurt its bottom line.

Netflix has declined to comment. Broadcom said it alerted Netflix to the alleged violations in September, but that the internet service had turned down attempts to negotiate a patent license.

The lawsuit might not go Broadcom's way. The chip producer sued a string of TV makers in 2017 for supposed patent violations, but Vizio and Sigma Designs both prevailed in 2018 after the US International Trade Commission found that they weren't violating the patents. Broadcom will have to show that Netflix is a different beast -- not to mention fend off concerns that it's trying to compensate for lost business by profiting from a competitor.