Nielsen And comScore Put An End To Their Patent War, Enter Cross-Licensing Agreement

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Online audience measurement and Web analytics companies Nielsen and comScore have settled their patent disputes, according to a joint statement released this morning.

Nielsen filed suit against its rival in March 2011, accusing comScore of infringing five patents it owns that relate to measuring and displaying online content. Sure enough, comScore countersued Nielsen just a few days later.

Now, the companies have seemingly buried the hatchet and come to this elaborate agreement:

“As part of this settlement both companies will enter into a cross-licensing agreement. Subject to retained rights by Nielsen, comScore will acquire ownership of the four Nielsen families of patents asserted in litigation, a portfolio with many U.S. and international patents.

comScore also grants Nielsen worldwide licenses for the families of the four patents comScore asserted in litigation. Both parties agree not to bring any patent action against the other for the next three years.

In addition, Nielsen has acquired approximately $19 million in comScore restricted common stock with neutral voting requirements, which Nielsen has agreed to hold for a period of one year minimum.”

The last part of the settlement agreement is particularly interesting in my view.