Quote of the Day - Most of the tool bars show pop-ups, follow your search and other keyword activity, and use that to target ads to you. It's for-profit hacking. Somebody is making money from each machine that is hit by these tool bars.
L.L. Bean does six percent of its business in California, and it asked a California company, Gator, Inc. to stop triggering pop-up ads that featured discount coupons for L.L. Bean customers. So far, I was voting for L.L. Bean. But that's not really the issue in the case.
Gator provides a "digital wallet" service that assists customers in making online purchases. As part of its "service," advertisers (read competitors of L.L. Bean) bought "ad space" that created a pop-up ad whenever a Gator customer visited the L.L. Bean website. Not happy with that creativity, L.L. Bean asked Gator to stop.
Also not one to shy away from a fight, Gator sued, asking the court to declare the pop-up ads legal. In Califorinia. Gator wanted the home-court advantage, so to say.
L.L. Bean contested jurisdiction, and the District Court agreed. The Ninth Circuit, in what is becoming part of a rapidly growing web of decisions on internet issues, reversed. Now, L.L. Bean has to answer Gator's action in California over the validity of the competitor's pop-up ads.
Sounds like another commerce-clause, free-speech case to me. My money's on Gator now.