Hoover's files suit against Infospace

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Hoover's, a provider of company data, filed suit against Infospace and its president, Naveen Jain, alleging that Infospace took copyrighted material from Hoover's database and used it on the Infospace site without Hoover's permission. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Austin, Texas, Hoover's charged Infospace with copyright infringement, fraud, unfair competition, trade secret misappropriation and injury to business reputation.

"Infospace was seeking to license Hoover's Company Capsules and database. Negotiations were never completed," said Carl Schwenker, associate with Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, Hoover's law firm. "Then Hoover's information started appearing on Infospace's Web site."

Infospace disputes the claim, saying it had an "understanding" with Hoover's to use the data and that Hoover's provided the data to Infospace. "The lawsuit has no merit," said Punam Agrawal, Infospace director of marketing.

Hoover's provides information about public and private companies in a variety of formats, including Hoover's Online, IPO Central and Cyberstocks. Infospace gathers up a variety of databases on its Web site, including government information, stock quotes, business directories and city information.

Copyright April 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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