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Advertise.com Scores First Victory in Lawsuit with AOL

Judge forces AOL to change venue.

Advertise.comAdvertise.com 1, AOL 0.

Online advertising company Advertise.com has scored its first victory in its legal battles with AOL: a judge has ruled against AOL’s favored jurisdiction of the Eastern District Court of Virginia. AOL was forced to refile the case in California Central District Court, where Advertise.com is based.

Both companies sued each other back in August, after AOL blamed Advertise.com of trademark infringement of AOL’s Advertising.com brand. AOL is also claiming trademark rights to Ad.com, which derailed the $1.4M sale of that domain name.

Advertise.com released the following statement today:

In a lawsuit filed in August 2009, corporate giant America Online continues the dirty tactics long associated with big business by suing Advertise.com for its use of the generic word “advertise” in its designation and domain names.

Termed a battle between David & Goliath by the court itself, AOL seeks to monopolize the online advertising market and unfairly restrain its competitors by asserting extremely broad rights to words commonly used in our daily vernacular. AOL’s lawsuit is an attempt to unjustly overtake the entire online marketing space and if unopposed could likely lead to attacks on other competitors in the Internet advertising world.

Advertise.com won its first battle against latter-day Goliath on October 9, 2009, when it prevailed in a motion to dismiss based on venue in the Eastern District Court of Virginia. AOL purposely chose to bring the suit in Virginia, well-known for its exceedingly fast docket, even though the disputed action took place in California and AOL’s own headquarters are located in New York.

AOL failed when the court ruled in favor of Advertise.com and granted a transfer of venue. This was AOL’s underhanded and calculated scare tactic to keep Advertise.com off balance with mountains of paperwork and multiple legal threats in hopes it would give in to AOL’s unfounded demands.

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