Microsoft cofounder sues Apple, Google, Facebook, more

By on August 27, 2010, 5:00 PM
Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen has essentially sued the Internet today, chasing after 11 massive IT companies for patent infringement. Allen has opened suit against Apple, Facebook, Google (and its subsidiary YouTube), AOL, eBay, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, and Yahoo, alleging that they use technology created by his firm in the 90s.

The four patents in question cover "obvious" features used by countless sites today. They mostly describe ways to present related information to consumers while they browse the Web. For instance, one patent allows a site to offer suggestions for items related to what a person is currently viewing. Another allows readers of an article to locate related posts.

Those are pretty broad descriptions, so there's no telling how successful the suit will be. Most of the defendants haven't responded, but a Google spokesperson has said the suit "reflects an unfortunate trend of people trying to compete in the courtroom instead of the marketplace." You can read the patents in full here: 6,263,507, 6,034,652, 6,788,314, 6,757,682.




User Comments: 15

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KG363 KG363 said:

That's pathetic. Way to wait until a decade after it was copied...

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Doesn't any statute of limitations apply to anything, anymore?

Guest said:

Maybe they're trying to gather funds for their next advertisement campaign, you know, for that thingy called Windows Phone Something...

Guest said:

Good for them. If it was my idea I'd do the same. Funny how people cry about it when it's MS people doing the suing.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Haha, and the patent links are via Google Patents.

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

i think there is patent & 'patent' .... someone can't just go & fill tons of ideas they can't put forward themselves & later on tax others for using same for there are no other routes or of some similitudes ...

it's like someone in the beginning go & fill a patent for human to breathe in & out oxygen, as no one would think of 'owning' this process in the first place, then tax all humans for they do so ...

i think those delivering patents should have strict conditions applied. tomorrow i can go & fill a patent for an idea of an invention i just don't have anything material or knowledge to create & when the real genius get the job done, i'm in for some milking ....

OK, i'm off filling patent for the following: time machine (oops! already taken), hyper-hd resolution, synthetic brain-powered computers ... LOL (Oops, do i have to pay anything also for saying some words !!?)

cheers!

tengeta tengeta said:

I guess Microsoft wants to make up for all the suing against them over the past 5 years. You don't poke the bear people.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I think he's just mad cause Bill Gates gets all the attention, and most of the money.

Guest said:

I think he's just mad cause Bill Gates gets all the attention, and most of the money

Yeah, I read "Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen" and immediately thought, "Paul Allen...oh yeah, I remember hearing about him once."

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

I kind of hope he's doing this to prove how messed up the patent system is.

Guest said:

...and just below the original article, in a subtly passive-aggressive condemnation of Paul Allen's legal action, the Wall Street Journal included "Related Stories" and "Related Videos"...

lpmjames lpmjames said:

Guest said:

I think he's just mad cause Bill Gates gets all the attention, and most of the money

Yeah, I read "Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen" and immediately thought, "Paul Allen...oh yeah, I remember hearing about him once."

oprah = stedman

gates = allen

he was just there to rub gates' feet at night

Guest said:

No point in suing at the start...all you get is lawyers fees to pay. Let them make some money and settle for millions

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