Consumer antitrust suits alleging that companies kept prices artificially high through fraudulently obtained patents are migrating from the pharmaceutical industry to other consumer-product sectors.

A consolidated consumer class action against online DVD rental company Netflix Inc. in a California federal court is borrowing the strategy in a case that claims that Los Gatos, Calif.-based Netflix is violating the Sherman Antitrust Act, a California antitrust law — the Cartwright Act — and California’s Unfair Competition Law.

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