Russian Company Plans to Sue Google for Patented Contextual Ads Technology

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A Russian Company is suing Google for copyright imfringement of the company’s alleged contextual advertising technology. The said technology was said to be patented by the Russian company – “Era Vodoleya” one year before Google started using it. The company’s CEO said that contextual advertising was invented by them sometime in 1988.

Era Vodoleya (which translates to Age of Aquarius) is also claiming that they have announced their patented technology in 1989. One year after Google started implementing the said technology – and eventually earned tons of advertising revenue since then. And this prompted the Russian company to file a lawsuit now. To get back those earnings which should have been theirs.

Why only now? And why Google alone? Other Russian companies are said to be using contextual advertising as well? According to the Russian company, they have been carefully investigating  the matter and it took them 5 years to finally say that Google has copied their technology. As for the other companies who are using the same technology, Ero Vadeleya said that those companies developed their own technologies based on Google’s idea.

Interestingly, the Russian company is planning to claim around $3 billion in damages. But they are reported also to be open for negotiation with Google and may not push through with the lawsuit should they reached an amicable settlement with Google. Unfortunately for the company, Google seemed to be ignoring them.

And who would not ignore these kinds of threats? If you are Google, the biggest internet player, these kinds of lawsuits are just few of the thousands of issues that you should be prepared to face.

Arnold Zafra
Arnold Zafra writes daily on the announcements by Google,, Yahoo & MSN along with how these announcements effect web publishers. He is currently building... Read Full Bio
Arnold Zafra
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  • Sushubh

    1988? 1989? sounds too early for online advertising era.

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  • Svetlana Gladkova

    Yes, it was 1998 – invention, 1999 – patent publication, 2000 – Google started using the technology. And actually the company is not filing the lawsuit as of yet, they seem to still try to draw Google’s attention – my suspicion is that it is in hopes to be acquired by Google 🙂

  • aiushtha

    Nonetheless without Google holding such Era Vodoleya, it would never be known. My point is this Googles influence in mass communication is indispendable so whatever product they released, ends up with a boom. So, its quite typical when similar products try to prove Google is copying to get money out of them rather than getting money out of the product they have. They should have invested so much advertisement on their product before so its clear Google can’t have it.

  • alexc

    It’s a bit too late now – US courts are increasingly taking a dim view of algorithm and business process related patents, the worst thats going to happen is that this patent will be challenged and overturned (if it was a US patent in the first place). I don’t see any hard reference to the patent at all – if they had it why they don’t publish its number and link to it? It might be Russian issued patent, in which case the worst possible impact will be limited to Russian market.

    IANAL and IMHO of course.

  • Web Marketing

    I had just heard about this as well, but does anything really think this is anything serious? It’s not the first, and won’t be the last time someone tries to get their cut of the pie.