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NetZero Files Lawsuit Against Juno

December 28, 2000

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Free Internet access pioneer NetZero Inc. has filed a patent infringement lawsuit over advertising windows used by rival Juno Online Services.

Westlake Village-based NetZero filed the lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The company has declined to comment further on the lawsuit, said spokeswoman Allison Chesher on Wednesday.

NetZero claims that its patent covers the technology used to present an on-screen advertising window that pops up separate from an Internet browser.

The window serves as a navigational tool and displays advertisements and customized messages while a computer user is online.

NetZero offers free dial-up access to users who are willing to provide information about their Internet surfing habits and allow a stream of advertisements to appear in a portion of their screens while online.

Juno officials Wednesday denied infringing on NetZero’s patent.

``On the contrary, we believe that NetZero has been infringing a key patent held by Juno, in connection with which Juno filed a lawsuit against NetZero in June of this year,″ Charles Ardai, Juno’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. ``We look forward to seeing both our suit against NetZero and this new suit brought by NetZero resolved through the appropriate legal process.″

Juno, with about 3.7 million subscribers, is the nation’s third-largest Internet service provider behind AOL and EarthLink.

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