Google’s Legal Spar With Yahoo

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Yellow Belt
Google's Legal Spar With Yahoo
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By: Danny Garon
Monday June 07 2004, 03:29:15

Google Inc, the search giant, has found itself fighting for the very technology that amounts to most of the company's billion-dollar revenue last year. AdWords, the technology that changed advertising forever, is now under fire. Overture Services, now owned by Yahoo, claims to own the "keyword auction†technology.

AdWords is the cornerstone of Google's success. If Google looses its battle, Google is expected to pay millions in damages to Overture.

AdWords allows advertisers to bid on certain keywords. Google then displays AdWords text ads on search-result pages. Additionally, with the sister AdSense program, Google serves advertisements to independent publishers. The higher an advertiser bids on a keyword, the higher and more visible their advertisements will be.

A pet shop, for example, might bid on the keyword 'puppy.' When users type in 'puppy', a link to the pet shop's website is displayed. Additionally, websites about puppies will display links to the pet shop.

A ruling in the case is expected anytime, which will dramatically affect the case – either sending it to a jury, or a possible settlement.

Yahoo has been said to "declare war†on Google since it stopped using Google to provide its search results in late 2003. Yahoo now uses Overture exclusively.

The case was reviewed by patent attorneys who said Overture's claims were "easily dismissed.â€

"Only time will tell what happens in this case,†said one independent analyst. Many experts are wondering what impact, if any, this will have on the IPO of Google's stock.

About Google Adwords
Google AdWords ads connect you with new customers at the precise moment when they're looking for your products or services. The Google Network reaches more than 80% of Internet users. With Google AdWords you create your own ads, choose keywords to help us match your ads to your audience and pay only when someone clicks on them.

About Overture
Overture, a wholly owned subsidiary of Yahoo!, Inc., offers essential marketing services for companies doing business online. The company's full suite of search-based products and tools help businesses connect with highly motivated customers.
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