January 2022 Bar Bulletin
By Al Davis
Reaching a pivotal milestone in its four-year journey as court-appointed receiver for pioneering digital data and advertising company AudienceScience Inc., Seattle-based Revitalization Partners has filed suit against Google LLC and YouTube LLC for infringing on a trio of patents held by the receivership and the former company’s estate.
Revitalization Partners initiated the landmark legal action over the two companies’ unauthorized use of technologies used in re-targeting consumers with online ads. More specifically, it alleges that both Google and YouTube infringe upon the inventions of AudienceScience by selecting and designating which advertising messages are included when a user requests a web page. The intellectual property litigation is believed to be the first of its kind initiated by a state receiver.
AudienceScience, which ceased day-to-day operations in 2017, invented and patented many of the foundational technologies used across the digital advertising industry today. Among its innovations: the industry’s first behavioral targeting product, enabling publishers throughout the world to serve more relevant advertising based on both user history and page context. This innovation began the empowerment of advertisers to buy highly targeted digital media.
Revitalization Partners discovered some 32 AudienceScience patents after being appointed by the court to manage the receivership process. Pat Scanlon, director of Revitalization Partners’ digital business practice, began developing a strategy to monetize the value of those proprietary technologies in order to satisfy creditor obligations. The suit against Google and YouTube represents the first of those legal actions.
As we did our due diligence, we quickly recognized how the patents were being infringed upon by two of the largest and most influential companies in the online world. Now that we’ve received the necessary approvals from the Washington receivership court in order to pursue litigation, we are in position to execute and potentially recover a significant amount of value for creditors using these and other patents.
Al Davis serves as Principal at Revitalization Partners LLC, a corporate and board advisory firm that specializes in restructuring and receiverships. He is a Court Appointed General Receiver in the State of Washington as well as an interim CEO and advisor to middle market companies. He can be reached at email@example.com or (206) 903-1855.