Accused search hijacker denies all charges except covertly redirecting search

Search-marketer interecepts queries, fixes, them, adds advertisers, returns to sender

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That's not even its primary purpose, however, according to the Sullivan doppelganger woodenly spouting flakspeak while waving its tiny clockwork arms like the animated bell ringer on one of those giant Bavarian town clocks that act out a mechanical morality play with toy villagers spinning on tracks like demented birds freaking out from having to Cuckoo the hour one time too many to a drunken, unappreciative Oktoberfest crowd. (Writers, you'll notice, are not inherently critical of the companies they write about, but are extremely susceptible to distraction.)

Paxfire intercepts search and HTTP requests primarily to correct mistakes in the URL, fix the spelling in searches, optimize the query itself, suggest alternative search phrases and optimize the results (that last thing means 'squeeze in our advertisers even if they wouldn't be otherwise).

"Finally, we want to make clear that while it is without merit, this lawsuit and its allegations are extremely harmful to our reputation and those of our partners. Under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a party has an obligation to ensure a foundation for his or her allegations. Clearly, this was not done adequately by the plaintiff in this case. "

What is disturbing about that last sentence from Sullivan isn't the threat – it's pretty standard to threaten to countersue someone who accuses you of doing something you do, but don't want other people to know you have done.

The disturbing thing is that, with all the requirements about evidence, need to swear on a bible that the evidence you're introducing and accusations you're making are true and all the other rules about who gets to sue, for what and how all the parties involved have to behave in the court, authors of The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure felt they had to include a specific item requiring that people filing lawsuits make sure there is at least some basis in fact in the accusations they make.

That's a little more surprising than Paxfire's effort to claim it's not in the business it tells its customers it's in, but not quite as disappointing in its execution.

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