NEWS27 January 2011

Judge dismisses counterclaims in Nielsen and Truck Ads copyright row

Legal North America

US— A judge this week granted Nielsen’s request to dismiss two counterclaims filed against it by Truck Ads, an outdoor advertising firm accused of infringing Nielsen’s copyright.

Nielsen claims Truck Ads is unlawfully using copyrighted designated marketing area (DMA) maps in its work, but Truck Ads sought to have the court declare that the DMA data and regions depicted on the maps are “not copyrightable” and that Nielsen had engaged in copyright misuse.

In an 18-page order, District Court Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer ruled that Nielsen’s original claim for copyright infringement would require the court to “review and consider the data underlying the maps”, thus rendering the first counterclaim redundant.

Regarding the copyright misuse claim, Judge Pallmeyer said Truck Ads assertion that it had lost business as a result of Nielsen’s lawsuit was “too speculative”. Nielsen’s motion for summary judgement was granted.

Truck Ads has appealed to the court to grant it leave to file amended and supplemental affirmative defences.

  • In other news, Nielsen’s shares closed up 8.7% at $25 a piece after their first day trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The initial public offering, in which 20% of the company was sold off for $23 a share, raised $1.56bn, with proceeds to be used to pay down debt.