The historic courthouse in Marshall, Texas. BOB WESTON A patent-holding company called Beneficial Innovations has been suing over patents related to online gaming and online advertising since 2006. Media companies have been one of its favorite targets, and it claims its patents are foundational technology for targeted advertising. But it apparently overstepped in 2011 when it filed its last major lawsuit against several major media companies in Marshall, Texas, a popular venue for patent disputes.

The 2011 lawsuit (PDF) was the last batch in a long list of media companies sued over the Beneficial patents.

The defendants included Advance Publications, which owns Conde Nast and several newspapers and is the parent company of Ars Technica; ALM Media, which owns The American Lawyer magazine and legal newspapers and websites; American Media, which owns websites for Playboy, Flex, Fit Pregnancy, and Shape; Rodale, which publishes websites for Men’s Health, Runner’s World, and Bicycling; Scripps Interactive, which is responsible for Food Network, HGTV, DIY Network; Demand Media; Viacom; Village Voice Media; AutoTrader.com; and Amazon. 2     

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