Case Study: Overture Services

Overture Services, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yahoo! Inc., is a global leader in commercial search services on the Internet.

Overture pioneered commercial search by aligning the interests of consumers; its more than 100,000 active, paying advertisers; and its worldwide distribution partners, including major Web portals, ISPs and other heavily trafficked destination sites.

The company offers a full suite of Internet search products and search-related services. Overture is based in Pasadena, Calif. [Source: Overture Services, Inc., January 2004]

Things to read:

Questions to consider:

  • What is Overture’s “pay-for-performance” business model? How does it work?
  • Is it a fair business practice for Overture to sell trademark keywords to a company’s competitors?

Intellectual Property

Selected trademark applications and registrations:

  • P4P;
  • QUICK HIT ®;
  • Search real-time for U.S. trademarks.

Selected patents:

  • 6,269,361 — System and method for influencing a position on a search result list generated by a computer network search engine (Pay for performance search);
  • Search real-time for new U.S. patents granted to Overture Services.