Posted February 18, 2008 9:43 am by with 12 comments

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Paid Search Engine Tools out of Ohio is not very happy with Google and Microsoft. In fact, it’s down right peeved that the two companies are infringing on its 2006 patent. As Mediapost reports:

That 2006 patent was for a method of optimizing keyword bids, said J. Robert Chambers of Cincinnati, the attorney for Paid Search Engine Tools. The abstract filed with the U.S. Patent Office describes it as a system for monitoring keyword bids across one or more search engines so that that marketers can make adjustments to their pay-per-click bids.

Chambers said that Paid Search Engine Tools previously provided this type of service to marketers, but that Google, Microsoft and Yahoo cut into the company’s business when they began to offer the service directly. Chambers said the company is seeking damages and an injunction against Google and Microsoft.

Of course, the chances that Paid Search Engine Tools will win are remote–especially when you consider the many challenges its lawsuit faces.

  1. They filed in Texas simply because it has the reputation of being plaintiff-friendly–not because anyone does business there.
  2. The patent could get declared invalid, if the judge determines it to be too vague or broad.
  3. They’re taking on Google–which gets 99% of its revenue from paid search, so will fight tooth and nail–and Microsoft–which probably has more patent attorneys on staff, than Paid Search Engine Tools has total staff.

Even odds that all Paid Search Engine Tools wants is a briefcase of cash to simply go away quietly. 😉

  • They’ll get some air time over a gutsy move like that if nothing else.

  • I agree with Futon-Matt there. At least they will get a bit of publicity over the whole thing. Sometimes you got to give the underdog a little encouragement I suppose…although that IS however a gutsy move to take on Google!

  • 2006 patent? How long have AdWords been on the market? Definitely way before 2006.

    Whatever press this company gets, it sure won’t be a good one.

  • @Wei – I think the patent is focused on managing bids across multiple platforms. That said, I agree that patent will probably be overturned.

  • The patent may be overturned but if there’s any validity to their argument it’s worth a try. I think there’s a small chance of victory and that the patent does seem a little vague.

    Maybe their hoping for an anti Google, Yahoo and MSN judge?

  • I think the probability that patent may be overturned is very low.

  • Some good media coverage is what they will surely get out of this. Beyond that, who is to say….

  • Eduardo

    It has become such a Cliche to sue Google or Microsoft that I doubt they will even get much media coverage on this.
    It has become a business to find a way to scam money out of these companies, despite my dislike for the powers that are MS and Google I hate lazy money hungry companies trying to take a cheap shot at the big money.

    Lets face the truth. Your company either failed or never made much of itself so you want to take a piece of someone else’s pie, there is no other way of looking that this.

  • Patent infringements related to SEO and PPC are very hard to prove in court. I’m interested to see what materializes.

  • Mike

    There is a little bit of case history the judge will be pointed to. Recall Yahoo! sued old Findwhat, now Miva and a Federal Court held Findwhat had stepped on Yahoo’s patent. As a result Miva pays or did pay a healthy license fee to Yahoo! for use of the tech.

    Nice try, my question is if they were serious they would have mentioned Kanoodle, LookSmart and the smaller players as well.

  • Hey, does anyone have a link to a summary of google’s lawsuits over trademark infringement cases. There’s been a number of them, and I’d love to read a little more about it.

  • @Mike – just search our site for “google” and “trademark” 😉