Google Wins Round In AdSense Click-Fraud Case

Google gavel

A judge has thrown out a click fraud lawsuit against Google, alleging that the company used a misleading registration form that tricked marketers into paying for ads that run on its publisher network.

U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Whyte in San Jose ruled that the potential class-action lawsuit should be dismissed because the marketer who sued -- private investigator David Almeida of Massachusetts -- didn't use the allegedly deceptive form when he registered for AdWords.

But Brian Kabateck, the lawyer for the potential class members, says he intends to refile on behalf of a different search marketer who allegedly used the registration form at issue.

Almeida originally alleged that he thought he had opted out of AdSense during the registration process, when he didn't respond to a question asking how much he would be willing to pay per click on sites that participate in Google's publisher network.

But as the lawsuit progressed, it emerged that Almeida had signed up with the Google program 11 months before the company began using the registration form referenced in the lawsuit.

Kabateck unsuccessfully asked to be allowed to substitute a different plaintiff, retailer Largo Cargo, and proceed with the case. Whyte instead dismissed the lawsuit, but said the law firm could file a new complaint with a different marketer as class representative.

Kabateck has previously sued Google and Yahoo for click fraud. His law firm, Kabateck Brown Kellner, settled with Yahoo and joined in a $90 million settlement with Google.

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