The patents mostly describe ways to present related information to consumers while they browse the Web. One allows sites to offer suggestions for merchandise related to what a person is viewing, while another outlines a method of showing content related to an article someone is reading.
- 6,034,652 - "Attention Manager for Occupying the Peripheral Attention of a Person in the Vicinity of a Display Device."
- 6,263,507 - "Browser for Use in Navigating a Body of Information, With Particular Application to Browsing Information Represented By Audiovisual Data."
- 6,757,682 - "Alerting Users to Items of Current Interest."
- 6,788,314 - "Attention Manager for Occupying the Peripheral Attention of a Person in the Vicinity of a Display Device."
The remaining patents are similarly vague -- a little too vague, apparently. US District Judge Marsha Pechman called the allegations "spartan" and dismissed the case for not being specific enough. She gave Allen a deadline of December 28 to file an amended case, and that's precisely what he plans to do.
A spokesman for Allen said he would refile accordingly and called judge's decision a "procedural issue" that won't stop the suit.