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Tuesday, 30 March 2004


EBL Direct reports that a court in Cologne, Germany, granted Hertz Germany an injunction against Claria (formerly known as Gator), ordering that company to stop feeding its pop-up ads for Hertz’s competitors on to Hertz’s website. The court found that this infuriating practice breached provisions of the German Unfair Competition Act (Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb, or UWG). Claria’s ads were automatically activated whenever a visitor to the Hertz website had previously – usually unknowingly – downloaded Claria’s advertising software. Hertz maintained that the ads interfered with its ability to do business with online customers.

The IPKat, who dislikes the invasion of his screen by alien pop-ups, is impressed with this result. He has learned that, although the UWG’s civil provisions are well-known in European IP circles, the less well known criminal infringement provisions of that law carry a fine of up to 250,000 euros and six months’ imprisonment.

Remove unwanted pop-ups? Try Crazy Browser (enthusiastically recommended by Jeremy)
Make your own pop-ups here and here
Less objectionable pop-ups here and here
Other things you can spend 250,000 euro on if you don’t plague websites with pop-ups here, here and here

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