The eight-page complaint filed today in California’s U.S. District Court (read it here) is heavy with comparisons of the two services, and ultimately claims that the defendant’s product “infringes at least one claim of each of the MoviePass patents,” which were issued in 2013, and “all maintenance fees have been paid for each MoviePass Patent.”
“MoviePass has been harmed as a direct and proximate result of Sinemia’s infringement of the MoviePass Patents,” the suit says. “Sinemia’s infringement has harmed MoviePass’s existing customer relationships, has harmed MoviePass’s ability to obtain new customers and form new customer relationships, and has harmed MoviePass’s standing in the movie-subscription marketplace.”
One big difference between the companies is that Sinemia caps the number of times its service can be used every month, and MoviePass does not. Attempts to reach a Sinemia rep for comments so far have been unsuccessful.
After Black Panther‘s historic four-day opening of $242.1 million, second behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens, MoviePass has been rather quiet about how much money its shelled out for tickets. Those in the distribution arena believe the company bled a lot of money. Prior to Black Panther opening, parent company Helios & Matheson increased its stake in MoviePass and offered a $105 million equity offering. Current MoviePass subscribers stand at 2 million.
Nicholas A. Brown of Greenberg Traurig LLP In San Francisco is representing MoviePass in the lawsuit, which seeks actual and punitive damages and an injunction against “further acts of infringement.” The plaintiff also demands a jury trial.