Website analytics developer Digital Envoy has filed a lawsuit against Google, charging the world’s top search engine with abusing a licensing agreement between the two companies. Digital Envoy sells a service that uses the IP addresses of website visitors to discern their demographic details. The company’s customers can then use that data to target content and online ads more precisely to those accessing their websites.
According to the news wires, Google became a Digital Envoy customer in November 2000 and pays Digital Envoy a $8,000 monthly fee for technology usage. That agreement only allows Google to use Digital Envoy’s technology on its own website. However google reportedly began using the Digital Envoy technology on third party sites in August 2002.
IDG News Reports
Digital Envoy told Google in February that it considered the company’s use of its technology on third-party sites to be a licensing violation, at which time Google “admitted to its conduct but refused to stop”, according to the complaint.
Google offered to increase its monthly payment to $12,000, an offer Digital Envoy rejected as inadequate.
Digital Envoy is charging Google with misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition. The company is seeking unspecified damages for lost licensing revenue, along with punitive damages and all of Google’s revenue from its allegedly improper use of Digital Envoy’s technology.
Search Engine Journal will monitor this story as it develops.