Classified Ventures, CareerBuilder Hit With Patent Lawsuit

By: Mark Fitzgerald

GraphOn Corp., a publishing software developer, said Monday it is suing five big Web businesses — including the newspaper joint ventures CareerBuilder and Classified Ventures — for patent infringement.

Santa Cruz, Calif.-based GraphOn alleges the companies infringed on four GraphOn patents that protect its “unique method of maintaining an automated and network-accessible database.”

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, seeks a permanent injunction against the alleged infringement and unspecified damages.

Classified Ventures is a joint venture of five newspaper publishers: Belo Corp.; Gannett Co. Inc.; The McClatchy Co.; Tribune Co.; and The Washington Post Co. CareerBuilder is owned jointly by Gannett; Tribune; McClatchy; and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT).

A spokesperson for CareerBuilder said the company does not comment on legal matters. Neil Hayes, Classified Venture’s vice president and chief legal officer, also said the company does not comment on legal matters.

In addition to the two joint ventures, GraphOn’s lawsuit also names as defendants Yahoo; eHarmony.com; and IAC/InterActiveCorp.

GraphOn noted that in November 2005 it sued AutoTrader.com Inc., alleging similar patent infringement. It said that this January it had ended the legal dispute with a license agreement with AutoTrader. Last summer, GraphOn sued Juniper Networks claiming infringement of other patents related to network security and firewall technologies.

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