Claria Sues L.L.Bean To Get Them To Stop Suing Claria Customers
from the focusing-on-the-wrong-issue dept
Last month, L.L. Bean decided to go one step further from suing Claria for putting pop-up ads over the browsers of Claria users when they visited the L.L. Bean website and sued the advertisers whose ads showed up. At the time, we pointed out that this was ridiculous. Putting those ads there is no different from someone buying a billboard in front of a competitor’s office, which is a practice many companies do. The real problem with Claria (and it is a problem) is that the software gets installed without users knowing it. However, if a user does want Claria’s Gator product running (and, amazingly enough, some people do want it), that’s their decision. There is no law that someone can’t use software that pops up advertisements when they visit someone else’s website. After realizing that their advertising customers were upset over these lawsuits, Claria has struck back and sued L.L. Bean for filing frivolous lawsuits. Of course, their reasoning isn’t so much that these actions are perfectly legal – but that some of the companies sued are no longer Claria customers (which could mean they’ll turn around and sue Claria back for causing them to get sued – some lawyers are likely reviewing indemnification clauses as we speak). Either way, this is a big legal mess over the wrong issue. What Claria is doing with their ads is perfectly legal. What they’re doing with the installation of Gator, however, is a much bigger question – but none of the lawsuits focus on that.