Ad Industry Roundup: ValueClick-Tacoda; Congressional hearings; Avenue-Razorfish; IAB

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ValueClick sues Tacoda over patent infringement: A few days before online ad firm ValueClick (NSDQ: VCLK) launched a new behavioral targeting platform, the company sued AOL (NYSE: TWX) Platform-A unit Tacoda over its profiling technology. ValueClick claims its patents on the general principles of behavioral targeting date back to 1998. ValueClick issued previous legal challenges over its BT (NYSE: BT) patents against rivals Blue Lithium and Revenue Science, both of whom eventually settled.

House subcommittee investigates scope of ad targeting: AOL, Google (NSDQ: GOOG), Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), and Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), along with internet service providers, have a Friday deadline to respond to a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee’s questions on the extent of their ad tracking activity and how consumers’ privacy is being affected. The House’s activity follows similar hearings held two weeks ago in the Senate, following concerns that led Charter Communications (NSDQ: CHTR) to drop its ad targeting experiment with NebuAd last month.

Avenue A/Razorfish forms media and entertainment practice: With online ad spending slowing, Avenue A/Razorfish is going to be reaching out to print and broadcast/cable companies a bit more. The aQuantive interactive shop has created a formal media entertainment practice that will build apps and sites for publishers and marketers.

IAB releases video ad serving template: Having settled on video ad guidelines in May, the Interactive Advertising Bureau is now helping companies build players. It’s released a Digital Video Ad Serving Template (dubbed VAST), that’s designed to standardize connections between video players and servers. The IAB is currently seeking public comment on the system on its site.

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Had TAcoda not sold they would have been sued into oblivion by now.

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