Movielink got some legal breathing room this week after a Delaware court ruled that the technology behind the studio-backed Internet movie service does not infringe a patent of USA Video Technology Corp. (USVO).

In April 2003, USVO alleged that Movielink was infringing on a patent (No. 5,130,792) that described a "system and method for a user to request, and have delivered over an electronic network, a digitized video program." Movielink filed a counterclaim on May 30, 2003, but later withdrew it.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware ruled in favor of Movielink on Jan. 28, 2005.

"Movielink's vision for a robust broadband VOD market is founded on respecting legitimate intellectual property rights and encouraging other businesses in the market to respect them as well. We are pleased, but not surprised, that the Court has agreed with us," said Movielink CEO Jim Ramo, in a release.

Movielink is a joint venture of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios and Warner Bros.

In a statement, USVO said its legal team is analyzing the court's opinion and is "considering possible options for resource within the court system."

The ruling notwithstanding, USVO said it is separately evaluating potential infringements by other companies, "with a view toward pursuing licensing opportunities where appropriate."