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Paul Allen's monster patent attack hit by judge dismissal

Interval Licensing reaches for permanent gain

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A US district judge dropped a patent infringement lawsuit filed by a company associated with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen last Friday.

Interval Licensing LLC, which is the patent arm of Interval Research, brought a far-reaching complaint against Google’s YouTube, Apple, Facebook, eBay, Netflix, AOL, Yahoo!, Office Depot, OfficeMax and Staples in August this year.

However, Judge Marsha Pechman rejected the suit late last week in the US Distict Court for the Western District of Washington.

Billionaire Allen had claimed ownership of four patents covering e-commerce and online search functions that have been staples of most websites for years. The filing was made on behalf of Interval Licensing, which is the Silicon Valley technology incubator that Microsoft’s co-founder bankrolled in 1992.

But Pechman dismissed the complaint, stating that Interval Licensing had failed to identify the infringing products or devices, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"The allegations in the complaint are Spartan," she said.

The court told Interval Licensing that it has until 28 December to file an amended complaint.

According to the WSJ, a spokesman for Allen said the company would file an amended lawsuit soon and said the judge’s dismissal was a “procedural issue”.

"The case is staying on track," said the spokesman. ®

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