Popup software maker wins again

Nov. 20, 2003 at 11:24 AM

DETROIT, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- A federal court judge in Detroit has dismissed Wells Fargo's motion to block rival pop-up ads when customers access the bank's Web site.

Judge Nancy Edmunds denied Wells Fargo's motion for a preliminary injunction against WhenU, a distributor of free advertising software, that was aimed at disarming the pop-up ads WhenU was delivering, CNET News.com reported Thursday.

Wells Fargo and plaintiff Quicken Loans charged WhenU violated their copyrights and trademarks by delivering ads for rival Web sites to consumers visiting the Wells Fargo and Quicken sites.

"The fact that some WhenU advertisements appear on a computer screen at the same time (the) plaintiffs' Web pages are visible in a separate window does not constitute a use in commerce of the plaintiffs' marks," Judge Edmunds wrote in denying an injunction Wednesday.

Though only a preliminary opinion, it echoes an earlier judgment in favor of WhenU in its case against U-Haul International.

Like Wells Fargo and a handful of other litigants, U-Haul had charged WhenU with trademark and copyright violations, among other complaints, as a result of pop-ups for competing movers that appeared on U-Haul's Web pages.

In September, a federal judge in Virginia granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of WhenU.

WhenU makes software that tracks the movement of Web surfers and serves up targeted ads to those who are likely to make a purchase.

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