Paul Allen launches patent broadside on world+dog
(Microsoft not included)
Billionaire Paul Allen on Friday became the latest tech titan to launch a major patent offensive, filing a far-reaching complaint against Google, Apple, Facebook, Netflix, and seven other companies over technology that was developed almost a decade ago.
The complaint (PDF), filed in federal court in Washington state, asserts four patents that cover e-commerce and online functions that have been staples of most websites for years. Noticeably absent from the hit list is Microsoft, which Allen co-founded in 1975 and in which he remains a major shareholder. It was filed on behalf of Interval Licensing, the patent arm of Interval Research, the Silicon Valley technology incubator Allen bankrolled in 1992.
The company holds about 300 patents, including those included in Friday's action. The complaint also takes credit for helping to establish one of the companies it's suing, claiming that it “served as an outside collaborator to and provided research funding for Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page’s research that resulted in Google.”
Other companies named are Google's YouTube, Yahoo, AOL, eBay, Office Depot, OfficeMax, and Staples.
The patents asserted are:
- 6,263,507, titled “Browser for use in navigating a body of information, with particular application to browsing information represented by audiovisual data”
- 6,034,652, titled “Attention manager for occupying the peripheral attention of a person in the vicinity of a display device”
- 6,788,314, titled “Attention manager for occupying the peripheral attention of a person in the vicinity of a display device” and
- 6,757,682, titled “Alerting users to items of current interest”
The complaint seeks unspecified damages and a court order permanently barring the companies from continued infringement. It comes two weeks after Oracle mounted a no-holds-barred legal attack against Google over its use of Java in the Android operating system. ®
Notice he didn't sue Microsoft
Paul Allen is shareholder of Microsoft, and he is suing Microsoft competitors. Looks like Bill Gates announced new Jihad.
Bill Gates is also a patent troll, he and his buddy Nathan Myhrvold (also ex-Microsoftie) have a company called Intelectual Ventures, which is biggest patent trolling company in the world.
They buy patents from failed companies and then use their proxies to sue companies that compete with Microsoft. When. Looks like this time proxy is Paul Allan. Bill Gates set the target, and then trolls attack. Later they spin it like it has nothing to do with Microsoft...
Scum of the earth.
He won't win. The companies involved won't win. The court system will be bogged down with it for months, if not years. The lawyers involved however, must be pissing themselves laughing at the thought of the pay cheques they'll be getting.
His personal worth is in the region of $13.5bn according to Forbes. What a tit. Like he's not rich enough already?
broken, scrap it!
The whole patent system is broken and needs sorting out. When you can secure a patent for a vague idea without (at that time) being able to demonstrate it in fact is utter bullshit.