Interesting news since we last spoke. It turns out that the co-founder of Microsoft Corp. Paul Allen has decided to go forward in a patent lawsuit against a myriad of companies; such as Apple Inc., Google Inc., Facebook, AOL, and even eBay.
Paul Allen helped start up Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975 before resigning as a Microsoft Executive in 1983. He then went on to start a company of his own known as Interval Licensing LLC in 1992, which is a research company. It looks like he’s been researching all over the internet to find possible patent infringements which he says are being used by most of the internet giants these days. He claims that Interval was a key player in the research and development of the advancement of the internet in the early 1990’s, where they worked and produced over 300 patents for various projects. The four patents in question all relate to how data on the web is sorted and presented to a user.
The claims against Google are that the search engine company is using a user’s search queries to match advertisements that would appeal to that particular person. This is similar to what AOL does to match news stories to a user’s interest. Interval also says that Apple’s iTunes, eBay Inc, Facebook, Netflix, Yahoo Inc, and Office Depot’s websites have infringed this particular patent that they hold.
Interval also feels that two of their patents were used to provide certain features in AOL’s Instant Messenger, Google talk, Apple’s Dashboard, Gmail Notifier, the Android phone system and Yahoo Widgets.
The last patent relates to Web browsers being alerted to new items of interest based on the activity of other users. Interval says that AOL uses this technology on its shopping sites, while Apple’s iTunes uses it to recommend music.
No comment by the lawsuit or Interval on whether or not Microsoft is included as a patent holder or infringer, even though they offer similar products as all of the other companies.
Paul Allen has pleaded with the court for damages and a ban on all the products that use the disputed technology. This would be his second time trying to see the end of this lawsuit as it was thrown out by a Judge earlier in the year on the grounds that it did not specify specific products or devices.
A Facebook Spokesman has gone on to say in an email “We believe this suit it completely without merit and we will fight it vigorously.”
It will be an interesting case to keep an eye on. Please if you have any comments or new updates about this article keep us posted.
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