August 21, 2007, 12:00 AM

NetRatings and Visual Sciences settle patent lawsuit

Visual Sciences will pay $9 million to NetRatings, which previously settled with five other firms over its patents covering collection and analysis of computer usage data.

NetRatings Inc., which collects data on Internet activity, has settled another of the lawsuits it filed in 2005 over alleged infringements of patents it holds covering the collection, analysis and reporting of computer usage data. Visual Sciences Inc., formerly known as WebSideStory, has agreed to pay NetRatings $9 million to settle the matter.

NetRatings previously had settled lawsuits against Coremetrics, Omniture, SageMetrics and the Sane Solutions subsidiary of Unica Corp. NetRatings also had announced a settlement with the original Visual Sciences, which was subsequently acquired by WebSideStory; the merged company took the name Visual Sciences in May.

NetRatings, part of The Nielsen Company, and WebSideStory had sued each other in February 2006. As part of the settlement, the two companies exchanged non-exclusive worldwide licenses to certain patents. In addition, Visual Sciences will pay NetRatings $2 million immediately, and pay $7 million in $500,000 quarterly installments starting March 31, 2008.

“We are pleased that we have put the litigation with NetRatings behind us so we can focus our energy and attention on delivering valuable real-time analytics solutions to our clients,” Visual Sciences CEO Jim MacIntyre says. “We believe the settlement provides benefits to all areas of our company: our clients can continue to make strategic commitments to our web analytics solutions confident that their interests have been protected; our shareholders can move forward with their investment in the company without the uncertainty engendered by the litigation; and our management team can concentrate on executing the company’s plan without the distractions caused by the litigation.”

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