Paul Allen's suit against the Web dismissed

By on December 13, 2010, 4:38 PM
In August, Paul Allen and his legal team unleashed a broad spectrum patent suit against many of today's largest IT companies, including Google, Facebook, Yahoo, eBay, Netflix, Apple and others. The Microsoft cofounder sought payment for four patents his firm created in the 90s.

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.





User Comments: 11

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gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Considering two of the patents appear to be identical I'm not surprised.

Cota Cota said:

I make my coffee whit real milk, im suing every one who uses real milk too....

Thats how i look at that sues.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

Cota said:

I make my coffee whit real milk, im suing every one who uses real milk too....

Thats how i look at that sues.

Um...care to explain how this is related? Paul patented ideas that are in use today. Unless you patented using real milk in coffee, I fail to see the relativity here.

Tanstar said:

He patented ideas, but not ways to implement them?

Guest said:

Retarded.

6,757,682 - "Alerting Users to Items of Current Interest."

hmm, so he invented advertising? And even if it is computer specific, does he think he invented output devices, because they specifically alert users of items of current interest. Hows about a doorbell? That could cover this patent. Or a microwave, they alert you when your interesting food is cooked.

What a *****, all I see is rich people trying to get richer while everything is crumbling around us!

Guest said:

You know what, I take it back.

6,757,682 - "Alerting Users to Items of Current Interest."

This is not an idea, certainly not an idea you can patent. Abuse of the system from a rich man. This is like patenting the shape of a wheel well after the time of invention then trying to extort money out of Firestone and Mitchellin :/

Guest said:

The bigger question is what items should be able to get a patent in the first place. This is really just getting out of control.

Lurker101 said:

6,757,682 - "Alerting Users to Items of Current Interest."

Shouldn't he be suing all news broadcasts, including TV and radio?

Zilpha Zilpha said:

I swear sometimes I think that all these crazy people today must have been subject to syphilis in their youth and it's now progressed to eating their brains.

tengeta tengeta said:

Well now its time to get back to the other 15 million lawsuits in technology...

example1013 said:

Any of you actually read the patent on "Alerting Users to Items of Current Interest"? Some of the diagrams created for the patent look a lot like google.com.

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