Citysearch Click Fraud Class Certified–Menagerie v. Citysearch

By Eric Goldman

Menagerie Productions v. Citysearch, 2009 WL 3770668 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 9, 2009)

While we don’t hear much about click fraud litigation any more, there are still some click fraud lawsuits percolating through the courts, including this one against Citysearch. I initially blogged on the case under a different name, Lambotte v. IAC/InterActiveCorp.. Lambotte is out as a named plaintiff and Menagerie Productions now gets the honor.

The big news is that earlier this month, the judge certified claims for breach of contract and fraud under California’s unfair competition law for the following class:

All persons or entities in the United States who entered into form contracts for pay-per-click advertising through Citysearch.com, paid money for this advertising service, and experienced click fraud by reason of double clicks or Citysearch’s failure to apply automatic filters to traffic from its syndication partners up through March 23, 2007

In light of the Vulcan Golf court’s refusal to certify a class against Google’s AdSense for Domains program, the class certification here is a mild surprise. However, that case involved trademarks, which are inherently more amorphous than even click-counting. Certainly, the plaintiffs’ lawyers have to be happy about this development. Although Citysearch still has some powerful defenses, I’d be surprised if the plaintiffs walk away from this case empty-handed.

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