Nielsen Sues comScore Over Patents
Staking their claims to the big business of Web measurement, The Nielsen Company has filed a lawsuit against comScore for violating five patents relating to the collection, analysis and reporting of Web-related information. "As the measurement of Internet traffic holds greater sway over the decisions of advertisers and marketers, two of the larger companies in the business are now vying with each other over valuable intellectual property," The Hollywood Reporter writes.
On the news, Time's Techland blog asks: "Who watches the men that watch the world wide Web? Apparently, the answer is "each other." "At stake is a highly lucrative business, as scores Internet companies receive from the tracking companies help them set ad rates," writes The Wrap.
Yet, "Nielsen is making a dangerous play by suing comScore," according to paidContent. "The most common strategy in responding to a patent attack is to sue back with one's own patents, and that could mire both of these companies in expensive litigation if they don't reach a quick settlement." Precisely, comScore tells The Register that it has raised patent infringement claims against Nielsen. "The company did not provide further details when pressed," it writes.
Meanwhile, a comScore spokesperson tells The Register: "Based on our initial review of [Nielsen's] claims, we believe they are without merit. We are respectful of IP rights and, as innovators, have filed and been issued patents of our own." Filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Virginia, Nielsen is charging that ComScore's various products infringe upon its patents, including one for a "Computer Use Meter and Analyzer."
"Ironically, Nielsen was once itself sued over this same patent by Jupiter Media Metrix," The Hollywood Reporter adds. "In 2002, the parties came to a settlement, whereby Nielsen/NetRatings gave Jupiter a $15 million cash infusion in exchange for the patents in question."