"Internet search portal AltaVista is reportedly threatening to
issue lawsuits against companies using Internet search technologies
that it has patented."
"AltaVista was awarded four patents covering search techniques
13 November including one covering a method of indexing Web sites
that is used by most search engines on the Internet. It owns a
total of 38 patents."
"David Wetherell, chief executive of CMGI, AltaVista's
parent company, told Internet World US magazine that Altavista
would defend its patent rights aggressively. "We believe that
virtually everyone out there who indexes the web is in violation of
at least several of [AltaVista's] key patents," he said."