Sunday, April 7, 2002

Overture Sues Google

Overture (formerly Goto.com) filed suit against Google late Thursday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The lawsuit only applies to the paid listings portion of the Google search engine, not its general search engine.

Google has no press releases related to this case, but a Google spokesman claims that they have analyzed the patent Overture cites in its lawsuit, and there is no infringement. Overture says the following about the lawsuit in a press release posted to its site:

The lawsuit charges Google with infringement of Overture's U.S. Patent No. 6,269,361. The '361 Patent protects various features and innovations relating to bid-for-placement products and Overture's Pay-For-Performance search technologies including its DirecTraffic Center account management system and tools.

Google took Overture's spot as the paid search service for Earthlink in February, and Overture is still trying to hammer out an overdue contract to continue services with AOL while AOL's sibling, CompuServe, started using Google in conjunction with Overture. Overture's paid listings appear on several search engines, including Yahoo! and AltaVista.

Overture filed a similar lawsuit against FindWhat.com in January (not that I can find any more about it). Also in January, a diet product manufacturer filed suit against AltaVista, Kanoodle, FindWhat.com, and Overture for alleged bait-and-switch tactics.

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