Interview with David Wetherell of CMGI

From: Dave Winer (
Date: Sat Jan 20 2001 - 16:06:33 PST

Even though AltaVista's doing well in the advertising space, we just think
that in order to really ensure strong growth they ought to leverage their
position in search licensing to a greater extent. And we saw the opportunity
to do that because we think it's a big market. They happen to own 38
patents, many of which we think are fundamental in the search area. They
were the first to spider and index the Web. And Digital did a good job of
recognizing the potential value of that intellectual property. And they were
very thorough in filing broad and deep and narrow patents. And we have
another 30 patents that are in application. So we believe that virtually
everyone out there who indexes the Web is in violation of at least several
of those key patents.

IW: Does that mean you'll pursue that?

Wetherell: Yes, we will. Coming up in the first quarter of 2001.

IW: So we may see some lawsuits ...

Wetherell: If necessary, we will defend it, to the letter of the law.

IW: Are there any specific examples of the types of patents?

Wetherell: If you index a distributed set of databases-what the Internet
is-and even within intranets, corporations, that's one of the patents. We
did a press release on this with a list of six or ten of the key areas that
the patents cover.

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