Google finds itself in patent suit

Pay-for-performance search company Overture Services, formally GoTo, said Friday that it filed suit against Google for allegedly infringing upon a patent related to the company's bid-for-placement products and search technologies.

Overture's pay-for-performance search service allows companies to bid for search-result placement based on relevant keywords. Advertisers pay the company to drive traffic to their sites via search engines.

The Pasadena, California, company filed the suit Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division in Los Angeles. Overture sued FindWhat.com earlier this year for allegedly infringing on the same patent, which the company says is a critical component underlying its bid-for-placement and pay-for-performance search technologies.

According to Overture spokesman Al Duncan, Google is infringing on the patent in its own bid-for-placement technologies.

Google, for its part, denied the claim. In a statement released Friday, the popular search engine company said that "this does not come as a surprise to us since Overture is engaged in another lawsuit concerning this patent with Findwhat.com. We have analyzed the patent and determined that we do not infringe any valid claim that it contains. "Overture said, however, that it spent thousands of research and development hours and tens of millions of dollars to develop its technologies and that it intends to enforce its intellectual property rights against those who use its patents without authorization.

Google, in Mountain View, California, declined further comment on the matter.

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