Adware maker Claria has sued L.L.Bean, charging the retailer with filing a frivolous lawsuit against its advertisers. Claria, formerly known as Gator, filed the complaint last week in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The Redwood City, Calif.-based company is firing back at L.L.Bean after it logged four complaints in Portland, Maine, district court in recent weeks against Atkins Nutritionals, J.C. Penny, Nordstrom and Gevalia Kaffee.
The four companies allegedly violated L.L.Bean's trademarks when they used Claria's software to deliver pop-up ads over its own Web site, according to the complaint. Claria, which is seeking punitive damages, has countered that L.L.Bean's action is baseless because some of the defendants are not current advertisers. L.L.Bean is also one of several companies that have sued Claria and is part of an ongoing, separate multi-district litigation case. Claria, which has filed for an initial public offering, makes advertising software called adware that tracks Web surfing behavior to deliver relevant ads. It bundles its software with free, popular downloads.