24/7 Media Sues DoubleClick for Patent Infringement

In the latest round in the ad serving patent wars, 24/7 Media Inc. on Friday filed suit
against industry leader DoubleClick
, alleging that the latter company’s DART technology infringes on
the former’s patent.

The patent in question — number 6,026,368 — was filed by 24/7 Media (TFSM) on July 17 1995 and granted on February 15, and
covers an “on-line interactive system for providing content and information
to a targeted set of viewers.”

“We understand that a complaint was filed. We have not yet seen the
complaint,” said Elizabeth Wang, vice president and general counsel of
DoubleClick (DCLK), in a statement.

“However, based on our initial review of the patent, we believe that any
claim of infringement would be baseless. We will defend ourselves vigorously.”

DoubleClick has a suit pending against 24/7 Media subsidiary
Sabela Media, which alleges that the company infringed on its patent —
number 5,948,061 — for a “method for delivery, targeting and measuring
advertising over networks.” The suit was filed in December 1999 — one
month before 24/7 Media acquired Sabela in January. Because of that suit,
24/7 Media has asked that the two cases be considered at the same time, by
the same judge.

DoubleClick has also
sued ad firm L90 (LNTY) over its ad serving system.

At the time it acquired Sabela, David Moore, chief executive officer of
24/7 Media, said of the lawsuit, “if we thought it was an issue, we
wouldn’t have bought the company.”

While DoubleClick’s patent, filed in October 1996 and granted in September
1999, covers the serving and targeting of ads, 24/7 Media’s is much
wider-ranging. Besides mentioning the targeting and serving of ads or
content, it also covers a system with reporting and billing functions.

In the suit, 24/7 Media seeks monetary damages and has requested that a
judge order DoubleClick to stop using the technology that allegedly
infringes on the patent. It fails, however, to mention any specific cases
of patent infringement, only alleging that DoubleClick has made, used,
offered for sale and sold technology that infringes on 24/7’s patent.

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