L.L. Bean Settles With Two in Claria Case

L.L. Bean settled out of court with two alleged Claria advertisers it accused of infringing on its copyright by serving pop-up ads on its Web site.

The clothing retailer reported that Gevalia Kaffe and Atkins Nutritionals have consented not to authorize ads to appear on the L.L. Bean site, and to make undisclosed payments for damages to its brand.

“Both Atkins and Gevalia took immediate action to resolve our complaint without further litigation,” said L.L. Bean V.P. of E-Commerce Mary Lou Kelley. “This is good news for L.L.Bean and countless consumers who are fed up with spyware-enabled advertising practices that invade personal computers and the privacy of their families.”

On May 17, the apparel retailer filed suit against Gevalia and Atkins, along with direct competitors Nordstrom and J.C. Penny, accusing the companies of targeting its Web site with pop-up ads using Claria’s desktop advertising platform. On June 10, Claria fired back with a suit of its own, accusing L.L. Bean of interfering with its client relationships and slandering its business.

L.L. Bean said its suit was motivated by concerns over consumer trust.

“We don’t enjoy going to these lengths, but as this kind of activity becomes more pervasive, it threatens 90 plus years of commitment to building trust, reliability, and peace of mind into our retail brand,” said Chris McCormick, L.L.Bean’s President and CEO. “L.L.Bean is not the only company with so much at stake here, and this development demonstrates that other retailers are coming to the same conclusion. Consumers who are concerned about privacy and the future of the Internet as a place to safely transact with reputable retailers should be pleased to hear that Atkins and Gevalia acted so quickly.”

However, a source close to Claria said Atkins Nutritionals was never a client and that Gevalia Kaffe, a coffee seller, never bought apparel-related placements, which means its ads wouldn’t have appeared on L.L. Bean’s site.

L.L. Bean has also joined a combined lawsuit against Claria. Other litigants include Hertz Corporation, Six Continent Hotels, Inter-Continental Hotels Corporation, TigerDirect, True Communication, Wells Fargo & Company, WFC Holdings Corporation and Quicken Loans.

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