Overture Services, now owned by Yahoo, filed suit against Google in April of 2002 alleging that Google infringed on U.S. Patent No. 6,269,361, "System and method for influencing a position on a search result list generated by a computer network search engine." Overture's patent protects bid-for-placement products as well as Overture's DirecTraffic Center account management system and tools. Google maintained the patent was "invalid and unenforceable."
The settlement reached today calls for Overture to dismiss the suit against Google and grant the rival firm a fully paid perpetual license to the patent, as well as to several related patent applications Overture holds.