Lycos said it will sue its search engine competitors for patent infringement, after it was awarded a US patent for its Web spider technology.
According to president and chief executive Robert Davis, Lycos will be entitled to sue other search engine suppliers this summer, once the award of the patent is formalised.
Speaking at the Hambrecht & Quist Technology Conference in San Francisco, he said: "We have a patent allowance on the Web spider. You?ll hear a lot more about that in the next 45-60 days. We believe our competitors infringe on that patent."
Davis said Lycos plans to launch Lycos Online, a scheme to rival the MCI-Yahoo joint venture Yahoo Online, within weeks. Appealing to the investment banking community, he said Lycos? competitive advantages include its integration into Windows 98, its European joint venture with German publisher Bertelsmann and the way its Web media content is automatically managed by computers and not people.
All these factors allow Lycos to keep its costs lower than its competitors and its strategy less risky, Davis said. Lycos has also spent less by setting up joint ventures rather than starting direct offices in new countries.
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