180Solutions is suing Zone Labs, makers of Zone Alarm. Docket info here.
180 believes that ZA has made “false and misleading statements” about 180Solutions.
Some points from the document:
“…180’s products are offered to users free of charge and are sponsored by advertising that users agree to view as a condition of using the products. 180’s products provide the user with access to a wide range of electronic content (such as games, music, video…) all of which is provided to users free of charge because of advertising revenue. Much like other innovative Internet content companies such as Google and Microsoft, 180 has helped develop an advertising-based business model that allows it to generate revenue from original content, while continuing to allow that content to be made freely available to users…
180’s advertisements are generated on the user’s computer by one of two software applications that users install as an agreed condition of receiving considered software or content…a few times per day, these applications will direct the subscriber to a sponsors website based on the website the user is viewing or in response to a search that the user makes.
…Zone Labs has caused, through false and misleading statements about 180’s products, thousands of 180’s customers to remove or otherwise uninstall Zango and/or 180SA. 180 has been damaged by the wrongful removal of its applications caused by ZoneLab’s tortious conduct.
…Zonelabs is aware that its false and misleading statements about 180’s products that are contained in the ZoneAlarm product have caused certain content vendors to refuse to contract with 180, harming 180’s business and subscribers.
ZoneAlarm makes the following false statement … a “DANGEROUS BEHAVIOR [Zango or 180sA] is trying to monitor your mouse movements and keyboard strokes”…the basis for ZoneAlarm’s inaccurate statement is the detection of 180’s products’ use of a particular programming function (the Windows API Hook, or setWindowsHook.Exe) in connection with their operation. Because the Windows API Hook function can be used in connection with the monitoring of mouse movements and keyboard strokes, ZoneAlarm mistakenly assumes that this is the reason for its employ by 180’s products, despite Zone Labs having been advised by 180 to the contrary….
…ZoneLabs was aware that 180 was in discussion with content providers and that certain transactions were delayed, postponed and/or precluded due specifically to ZoneLabs’ improper classification and presentations about 180’s products. … ZoneLabs, by its conduct alleged herein, intentionally interfered with 180’s business expectancies, inducing and causing termination of such expectancies by falsely characterizing 180’s products for the commercial benefit of Zone Labs.”
Curious about all this, I installed ZA Antispyware and Zango. Here is the warning that is apparently a big part of this lawsuit (this is what I saw this evening):
Here is the advice they give on Zango after a scan.
The advice panel has a link that goes to here.
This is all going to be rather interesting, to say the least.
PDF link here.
(Thanks to Eric Howes for providing me with the document.)