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So, when your company is going belly up, it there really any point whatsoever in suing another company who, in similar fashion, is also going belly up? Well, that’s the Idealab! way.

At Idealab! they’re pretty big on patents for stupid things, exploiting the fact that the US PTO is so overwhelmed and that their evaluators are so underwhelming that they’ll pretty much grant a patent on anything.

Can anyone please describe to me exactly what about being an ISP is even remotely patentable?

-Ian.

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/htx/nm/20001228/wr/tech_netzero_dc_1.html

Thursday December 28 8:17 AM ET NetZero Sues Juno Over Alleged Patent Infringement

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Six months after being sued over patent infringement allegations by rival Juno Online Services Inc. (NasdaqNM:JWEB – news), free Internet service provider NetZero Inc. (NasdaqNM:NZRO – news) says it had filed a similar suit against Juno.

Westlake Village, Calif.-based NetZero said Wednesday it sued Juno for alleged violations of a patented “process that enables an Internet service provider to display advertisements or messages through a window that is separate from the browser.”

The technology is part of NetZero’s ZeroPoint, a persistent on-screen window that displays advertisements and customized messages the entire time an Internet user is online.

NetZero said it filed its suit on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

“We believe this patent applies to the ad-delivery process used by many of our competitors for both targeted and untargeted advertisements and will provide NetZero with a significant competitive edge in this environment,” said Mark Goldston, chairman and chief executive officer of NetZero.

Juno Chief Executive Officer Charles Ardai denied the allegations, and added that his company filed a similar patent infringement lawsuit against NetZero in June.

“Their complaint seems to be that we are infringing a patent for their ad-related technology,” he said. “I hope to see both of these suits resolved in the ordinary course through the legal process.”

But Ardai said he does not believe that Juno is infringing on any NetZero patents.

“On the contrary, we believe they are infringing a patent we hold,” he said.

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