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DoubleClick Countersued

May 19, 2000|Reuters

DoubleClick Inc., the leading online advertising company, was hit with separate countersuits filed by L90 Inc. and a subsidiary of 24/7 Media Inc. in a dispute over a patent for technology used in placing ads on Web sites. The federal suit filed by 24/7's Sabela Media Inc. subsidiary is a response to a complaint DoubleClick brought in December. DoubleClick has accused its smaller rival of infringing its patent for DART, a technology that allows online sites to display ads automatically targeted to individuals according to their tastes and online habits. "What we are alleging is that they procured the patent by withholding information from the U.S. Patent Office," said Mark Moran, general counsel for 24/7. "Then, knowing it was invalid, they asserted it against Sabela. They sued two of their weakest competitors when they were raising money."The company has asked for an injunction barring DoubleClick from engaging in further "anti-competitive conduct." It is also seeking monetary damages, including punitive damages. L90, which is seeking damages "well into nine figures," according to its suit, also alleges unfair practices, accusing DoubleClick of "fraudulent procurement and unlawful assertion of the patent." DoubleClick had filed a patent infringement lawsuit against L90 before the company went public in January. DoubleClick in a statement called the suits "desperate, baseless and clearly retaliatory."

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