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Netflix: A Brilliant IP Junkie

Netflix TV has been a disrupter and market leader; it revolutionised the way we watch TV. They manage their IP Portfolio efficiently. Let's take a look at how Netflix’s business model incorporates a variety of different service offerings.


From the very beginning, Netflix has been a disrupter and market leader; it manifestly revolutionised the way we watch TV. Whether it’s watching a film as a family, or binge-watching alone with pizza, Netflix provides it all. We, as consumers of streaming services, are completely spoilt for choice; indeed, Netflix has worthy opponents such as Amazon Prime, Hulu, the Walt Disney Company, and Apple TV. But, as reflected by the numbers, it’s the world’s clear favorite.

Being the frontrunner of its industry, one of Netflix’s main priorities is protecting its success and long term competitive advantage. How does it do this? Simple: intellectual property. As the main component of its overall strategy, the streaming giant uses an array of intellectual properties. This facilitates the continual innovation and security of its position in the market. As opposed to concentrating on just one intellectual property design, the service provider employs many intellectual properties in order to shield its central services and safeguard itself from potential infringement suits.

Since the days it provided a mail DVD subscription service, Netflix has continually been granted a plethora of patents, such as for its rental management system (7546252), the rental processing system (7848968), and the envelopes it uses (6966484), to name but a few. Notably, Netflix patented its one-of-a-kind methods and processes, such as for its computer-implemented strategy toward renting (6584450 & 7024381), in addition to its service of maintaining the provision of services to users without charging late fees.

The aforementioned patents mark only the tip of Netflix’s patent iceberg. Other noteworthy patents include the streaming giant’s techniques for employing a text-containing image into a digital image and identifying previously streamed chunks of a media title in order to avoid repetitive playback.


In the world of intellectual property, Netflix is known to protect its copyrights in creative ways. The streaming service provider not only provides original content such as the mega successes of Narcos and Stranger Things but also content created and published by other entities. This then raises the question of what roles copyright and intellectual property play in terms of streaming services such as Netflix. Well, with regards to content that doesn’t fall into the Netflix Original category, the company must obtain written authorisation from other entities in order to show its content. A case in point is Netflix showing the Disney production Rogue One. Authorisation comes in the form of a contract or license that permits the exhibition of copyrighted productions, which, of course, is contingent upon numerous restrictions and fees.

With regards to productions that are Netflix originals, the company protects its productions in creative ways. To elucidate, the series Stranger Things illustrated how its production house leveraged humor to attain a legal result which both promotes Netflix’s brand and lessens public relations backlash. In 2017 when a Stranger Things themed bar in the US was erected without permission from Netflix, the company responded in a funny and effective way. How so? Instead of writing the bar a cease-and-desist letter, the streaming giant wrote a short, affectionate letter that emulated the tone of Stranger Things itself. In doing so, it politely asked the bar to close down.

The smart and benevolent letter in conjunction with its gentle requests was regarded by the IP world as a legal and marketing triumph for the streaming company.


In order for Netflix TV to enjoy its tremendous success, it employs strategies and legal retaliations that both preserve the brand’s identity and standing, as well as protect its content. The company operates in a fluid, constantly changing, and competitive market. Consequently, in order to maintain their position and brand powerBusiness Management Articles, the strategies employed and modus operandi of their intellectual properties can quite literally make or break the company's success.



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Edwin is a Digital Marketing Specialist and Content Writer at ABOU NAJA Intellectual Property, a full-service IP Law firm with its headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. We provide registration services for Trademarks, Patents, Copyrights, and Industrial Designs.   Intellectual Property Portfolio Management, Intellectual Property Enforcement, Litigation, Opposition, and Cancellation. Anti-Piracy and Anti-Counterfeiting.


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