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More CPA Networks Sued for Affiliate Patent

Once again, the company claiming to own basically the patent for affiliate marketing, Essociate has gone after another batch of affiliate and cpa networks, including Peerfly, COPEAC, CPAWAY and Neverblue. Currently cases against several other major CPA Networks are ongoing, and many of them still not resolved. However, in their quest to get as much money as soon as possible, they have embarked on attempting, in my humble opion, to destroy the industry again, claiming that somehow they “invented” affiliate marketing. What utter bullshit.

However, the industry it seems has already made their own decision that this company is nothing but a patent troll, realizing that their supposed patent on affiliate marketing poses a problem for companies that cannot afford to defend themselves and would rather settle.

If you are interested about all the companies they have sued and are now suing, check out this link which shows that they are targeting all sorts of companies, including those that license software from other companies. Of course, still to this date, they have not taken on any of the actual owners of those products such as DirectTrack, knowing that they would probably lose. Additionally, DirectTrack is part of a public company and has the money to seriously fight back.

Come to the rescue is Brian Littleton of Shareasale.com who has filed a lawsuit against Essociate asking the courts to basically declare their “patent for affiliate marketing” complete and utter bullshit. Thank You to this guy for standing up and not waiting to be another “victim” of software patent trolls. If you know him, give him a pat on the back and thank him.

Again, in my opinion, essociate has one purpose: to destroy as many companies, rake as much cash right now before the laws change that make these type of claims bullshit. In fact, recent cases have shown that the Supreme Court is moving more and more towards the possibility of invalidating software patents altogether. I’m sure that Essociates is well aware of this issue, and more importantly that Shareasale could win their case, causing a serious problem in their drive for quick cash. Until then, more and more companies will have to face the serious specter of defending themselves against these claims.

About Pace Lattin

Pace Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pace Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

12 comments

  1. what a scumbag company. I doubt you’ll be seeing them showing up to Affiliate Summit hahah. It really should be illegal to file frivolous lawsuits these days. There was another scumbag lawyer dude i read about not too long ago that would basically sue optin email marketers for “spam” in the same fashion. what a joke

  2. Companies like this shouldnt exist. They simply give a horrible name to the affiliate marketing company. I think all these CPA Networks will be fine though as they’re all legit. But still, they better not keep messing with Peerfly! That’s my favorite network.

  3. I’m not a lawyer obviously so this might be a dumb question, but couldn’t DirectTrack sue esocciates for obstructing business with their clients? I’m sure CPA Networks are majority of clients to DT and LT?

  4. it’s these kinda companies that bring shame to affiliating marketing. stop playing dirty, beware of karma…

  5. Thanks for the information, since I am an affiliate marketers, I have to be aware of the in order to avoid get into problem

  6. Wow! Interesting business plan they have – but they are not going to win many friends doing business like this.

  7. I think amazon invented the concept of affiliate, why amazon isn’t on this list? :) They can request nullity of patent.

  8. What’s more shocking, to me, is that the US Patent Office is apparently so clueless in regards to what is a generic model and what should be considered a proprietary patentable process. Shame on the USPTO for granting these and other patents. Check out the FARK.com Patent Troll for another horror story….A Troll tried to say that submitting a news story via a web form was patented.

    The USPTO should have become more proficient in the technology before granting a patent instead of just faking it.

  9. Does anyone know what ever become of this? I know a lot of CPA companies that have dropped off the face of the earth. I use to do some work with Peerfly and was just curious…

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