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Paul Allen Has Monster Lawsuit Dismissed

Back in August, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen filed a suit against a fistful of the biggest names in the tech industry, including Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, and Yahoo.

Allen accused the tech giants of infringing upon patents owned by a company he had founded in 1992. Dissolved in the year 2000, Interval Research focused on the Internet and consumer technology applications. Allen's suit accused 11 companies of infringing upon Interval Research-owned patents that covered internet searching and e-commerce.

A month or so after the August filing of Allen's lawsuit, Google and several others listed in the lawsuit asked that it be dismissed on the grounds that it was not detailed enough.

"Interval is not entitled to waste Court and party resources with a scattershot Complaint against multiple Defendants that fails to give any indication as to which products or services Interval contends are infringing and the factual basis for such a claim," Google is quoted as saying in its request.

Last Friday judge Marsha Pechman concurred and dismissed Allen's complaint. Undeterred, a spokesperson for the Microsoft co-founder described the dismissal as a "procedural issue" and told the Wall Street Journal, "The case is staying on track."

  • hellwig
    Wow, so Allen's argument was: "We own patents and these companies with big bank accounts are somehow infringing upon those patents, which I refuse to name?" The guy is worth like $20-billion, what more does he want?
    Reply
  • Parrdacc
    hellwigWow, so Allen's argument was: "We own patents and these companies with big bank accounts are somehow infringing upon those patents, which I refuse to name?" The guy is worth like $20-billion, what more does he want?
    and people wonder why the court system is all fouled up.
    Reply
  • davewolfgang
    No, the court system actually worked this time - in throwing this out.

    It's the PATENT office that's the problem in giving patents to "idea's", instead of something that's actually REAL.

    Ya know - back in the 60's some Sci-Fi writers wrote about these cool helmets that have a built in heads up display with built in radar, radios, and all that fancy stuff - should their estates sue Halo makers, Ironman movie creators, and all the other modern games and movies that have used that same IDEA? You patent an actual ITEM - not an idea. /offsoapbox
    Reply
  • makaveli316
    This guy is filthy rich, he must be sued for greed.
    Some people need to be slapped, punched in the head repeatedly or else, so they can eventually wake up and see the shitty person they are.
    Reply
  • jerreece
    Personally, the Judge should have thrown this out on the basis that "Interval" the "owner" of said patents no longer exists.
    Reply
  • COLGeek
    While I applaud the judge for doing the right thing because it is really hard to try a case when, in this case, the actual patents haven't been identified, I am sure we will see this nonsense again.

    This is similar to the old SCO Unix suit a few years ago. It took forever (and a day) to finally go away.

    Riches through litigation have become a popular way to make money. Often companies will pay some lesser amount than the amount being claimed just to avoid the hassle (and bad press) of going to court. Sometimes this method (unfortunately) actually works. That is not the case here.
    Reply
  • iamtheking123
    "The case is staying on track."

    How can you lose and still be on track?
    Reply
  • hang-the-9
    Parrdaccand people wonder why the court system is all fouled up.hellwigWow, so Allen's argument was: "We own patents and these companies with big bank accounts are somehow infringing upon those patents, which I refuse to name?" The guy is worth like $20-billion, what more does he want?
    I don't think the fact that he has lots of money matters much if something is taken from you. If I have 3 cars and one is stolen, I'm going to file a stolen car report anyway.
    Reply
  • JDFan
    iamtheking123"The case is staying on track."How can you lose and still be on track?
    He didn't lose -- the case was dismissed for not being specific enough - so He'll go back and add more detail including what patents are being infringed upon by what company and refile and the process keeps going !
    Reply
  • jalek
    -- U.S. Patent No. 6,263,507, for "Browser for Use in Navigating a Body of Information, With Particular Application to Browsing Information Represented By Audiovisual Data."

    -- U.S. Patent No. 6,034,652, for "Attention Manager for Occupying the Peripheral Attention of a Person in the Vicinity of a Display Device."

    -- U.S. Patent No. 6,788,314, for "Attention Manager for Occupying the Peripheral Attention of a Person in the Vicinity of a Display Device."

    -- U.S. Patent No. 6,757,682, for "Alerting Users to Items of Current Interest."

    Where I a judge, I'm not sure I'd want to sit through the monstrosity he filed initially, the judge just wants it in smaller pieces.

    I mean if you look up the first one,
    enabling the body of information to be quickly reviewed to obtain an overview of the content of the body of information and allowing flexibility in the manner in which the body of information is reviewed.
    could be anything from putting things into a table of contents to separating content from the display "manner" or structure, which is web 2.0. We have no information on how ambitious he wants to be.
    Reply