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ValueClick Sues Tacoda Over Behavioral Targeting Patents

Another test of patent reform, perhaps

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A technology slap-fight headed to the California court rooms in Los Angeles as ValueClick accused Tacoda of infringing on its patents.

The issues of behavioral targeting go beyond the usual concerns about privacy and consumer tracking. At the core of the approach to presenting advertising to people based on their online habits comes the practice of behavioral targeting.

The Federal Trade Commission held a two-day town hall meeting on the practice in November 2007. As a result of that meeting, the FTC proposed principles on behavioral targeting; whether or not advertising networks follow them has been left up to those businesses.

Before anyone rushes too fast to push the behavioral targeting envelope, a situation between Valueclick and Tacoda needs to be resolved. ValuecClick filed suit in Los Angeles against Tacoda in July 2008 over accusations of infringement on two patents.

MediaPost said the patents were both invented by Gather.com founder Thomas Gerace. ValueClick acquired Gerace’s former company, BeFree, in 2002.

AOL acquired Tacoda in 2007, and MediaPost said ValueClick warned AOL in March 2007 about their belief Tacoda infringed ValueClick’s patents.

Another patent lawsuit involves a familiar name. InformationWeek said Google picked up its fourth infringement lawsuit this year, as Web Tracking Solutions and Daniel Wexler accused the search advertising giant of infringing an accounting reporting patent with Google’s AdSense service.

ValueClick Sues Tacoda Over Behavioral Targeting Patents
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