If Google, Amazon and Apple are generally considered the three technology brands with the widest global reach, then Netflix may be the closest source of competition. As the company hints at an expansion of its powers, market analysts have been analyzing how the movie rental giant's patent portfolio may help or hurt its prospects.
According to CNBC, investors have been speculating that Netflix's robust technological infrastructure could serve as a "great platform" from which to launch a more expansive media strategy. Perhaps more importantly, its intellectual assets could cordon off key paths for its competitors.
Analysts from Envision IP recently conducted an in-depth assessment of the company's portfolio, revealing key protections for innovations relating to its user rating system and streaming video conversion services.
"However, Netflix [also] owns 32 pending U.S. patent applications that cover technologies to improve and optimize on-demand streaming video delivery, such as data synchronization, encoding, adaptive streaming and multiplexing," Envision analysts wrote in a recent company blog post.
At the same time, the company's current portfolio may not be enough to prevent the determined advances of Blockbuster or Amazon. While Netflix seems to have insulated its DVD-by-mail business from all angles, the online streaming space seems virtually up for grabs, according to Envision.