Overstock.com Drops Adware Lawsuit

Share this article:
Overstock.com dropped its trademark and copyright infringement suit against adware maker Claria Corp. last week.


A federal court judge Thursday granted the Salt Lake City e-tailer's motion to dismiss the case without prejudice that it brought in June against Claria, then named Gator, according to U.S. District Court filings.


That suit alleged Gator violated Overstock's trademark by displaying ads on its site and engaged in unfair business practices by marketing competitors. In November, Overstock dropped an identical suit it brought against another adware maker, WhenU.com.


The dismissal is a further sign that litigation against contextual advertising is failing. WhenU.com won a pair of major legal victories recently. Last month, a federal judge rebuffed an injunction request by Wells Fargo against it, stating that WhenU's business practices are "legitimate comparative advertising." Another judge came to the same conclusion in September, dismissing claims by U-Haul against WhenU.


Web site operators long have claimed that adware, which displays advertisements on computer screens that can obscure their site, is a violation of trademark and copyright law. Many sites are particularly embittered because the ads shown frequently are for a competitor's service.


Gator and WhenU have responded that they merely give consumers a measure of choice, informing them of another option, and that computer users consented to the ads in return for free software. Adware is typically bundled with free programs like screensavers or file-sharing systems.


Even with Overstock dropping its claims, Gator still faces suits from companies like L.L. Bean, Hertz and United Parcel Service.


Last year, a group of major news publishers settled an infringement case against Gator. Terms of the settlement were not revealed, though sources close to the case say Gator agreed to not serve ads to users visiting those publishers' Web sites.


Claria boasts that its adware is installed with 38 million consumers, attracting more than 900 advertisers. The company changed its name from Gator in November to draw a distinction between its adware and research businesses.


Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.
close

Next Article in Digital Marketing

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

Featured Listings

More in Digital Marketing

One Third of Americans' Social Media Time Is Spent on Facebook

One Third of Americans' Social Media Time Is ...

Pandora, meanwhile, attracts more user time but far fewer digital advertisng dollars, says a study.

News Corp. Chief Brands Google an 'Unaccountable Bureaucracy'

News Corp. Chief Brands Google an 'Unaccountable Bureaucracy'

Robert Thomson warns the EU that an antitrust deal with Google will lead to a decrease in competitive options for marketers and an increase in piracy.

Video's Going Programmatic, New Study Contends

Video's Going Programmatic, New Study Contends

Some 60% of brands now buy online video programmatically, according to a study from AOL's Adap.TV.