Patent owner stakes claim in Net ad suit

Just as the online advertising market seems back on track, a patent enforcer with broad rights to Web ad methods wants a cut of the profits.

InternetAd Systems, a recently formed company that aims to commercialize its patent rights, said this week it plans to seek royalties from various Web sites that use popular online ad formats, including some types of pop-up and pop-under ads. It has already filed a legal complaint against ESPN, The New York Times Co. and Travelocity.com, charging the companies with infringing on one or all of its four patents related to Internet ads. The civil suit asks for damages of an unspecified amount and a permanent injunction against the parties from using the ad formats. The Northbrook, Ill.-based company filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas on Nov. 18.

The patents cover inventions by David Judson, who hired InternetAd Systems to enforce them. They broadly protect methods for interstitial advertising, which are messages that appear in between Web pages. InternetAd Systems believes that the patents also relate to "messages that appear before or behind Web sites," including some pop-up ads, according to Anthony Brown, president of TechSearch, the parent company of InternetAd Systems and the patent enforcer that challenged Intel and lost in the late 1990s.

News source: C|Net News.com

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