A couple of weeks ago, PFF's other blog, www.IPcentral.info, commented on the Gator case in California, pointing out that the leisurely pace of litigation was denying companies an answer to an important question -- the legality of pop-up ads for rivals that appear when a potential customer logs on to a firm's website.
Now, L. L. Bean, which has been fighting to have the California suit dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, is pushing the issue in the more convenient forum of Maine. Yesterday, it filed suit there, but not against the provider of the software that produces the pop-ups. It directly sued the companies that commission the ads -- Nordstrom, Penny, Atkins, and Gevalia. Note that these are not all rivals of Bean. Atkins is diet, and Gevalia is coffee. So the case must be based on some trespass theories as well as trademark.