updated 03:15 pm EDT, Tue November 2, 2010
Group retracts claim of '7-figure settlement'
The settlement in a lawsuit over iAd may have cost Apple $1 million or more, a retracted press release suggests. Roughly a month after the announcement of iAd on April 8th, Apple was sued by Innovate Media, an online ad firm situated near Los Angeles. In a trademark dispute, Innovate claimed that it had used "iAd" since 2006, and won two trademarks for "iAds" in October 2008. The two parties settled outside of court in July of this year.
As is common in such cases, the terms of the settlement weren't made public. Last Thursday, however, a company called Consor Intellectual Asset Management posted a press release claiming the iAd fight as one of four examples of its success. "iAds, a 7-figure settlement from Apple Computer in a trademark infringement case," a bulletpoint reads.
A paragraph in the release goes into greater detail. "Imagine [Innovate's] surprise earlier this year when Steve Jobs announced Apple's new advertising platform for the iPhone called iAd. The comprehensive confusion analysis and quantification of economic damages performed by Consor were instrumental to Innovate Media reaching a highly favorable settlement with Apple."
Shortly after the release went live, Consor attempted to have it pulled. A questioned executive at the company initially denied that that it had ever been sent out, but later admitted to CNET that the some of the information "wasn't accurate," refusing to elaborate further.
One possibility is that Consor may not have been allowed to disclose the terms of the settlement. The release may alternately have been a genuinely inaccurate, quoting the wrong monetary figure. If the deal was worth millions, it would've had a small but significant impact on Apple's bottom line.