ATLANTA Online technology firm Activ8now and its operating company, Active8media, filed a lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta for patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation against Advance Publications in New York.
Activ8now owns several patents for producing interactive electronic versions of magazine advertisements. According to the suit, Advance Publications-owned Conde Nast entered into a license agreement with Active8now to use the Atlanta company's technology for the September 2004 issue of Vogue. The suit alleges that Conde Nast subsequently struck an agreement with New York online marketing company RichFx to "activate" advertisements for the March 2005 issue of Vogue and the May 2005 issue of Conde Nast Traveler using Activ8now's patented technology.
The suit also charges that Conde Nast breached its duty of confidentiality by disclosing Activ8now's confidential technology and trade secrets to RichFx. The suit seeks unspecified damages from the Conde Nast.
According to the suit, Vogue claimed that its September 2004 issue was the most successful issue in its 112-year history. Vogue added approximately 194 additional ad pages over its September 2003 issue, and earned more than $60 million in revenue from the September 2004 issue alone.
In addition, Vogue vp and publisher Tom Florio allegedly appeared on CNBC and touted Activ8now's technology as "completely new" and the "engine" behind the success of the September 2004 Vogue.
A spokesperson for Conde Nast declined to comment on the suit.