Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen added details to the patent infringement lawsuit filed against Google, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Netflix, AOL, Yahoo!, Office Depot, OfficeMax and Staples in August.
The filing adds specifics to the complaint after its earlier filing was rejected by Judge Marsha Pechman in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington on Dec. 10. The case filed on behalf of Interval Licensing, was dismissed because it did not sufficiently detail which patents were being infringed.
The amended complaint was filed on Dec. 28, the deadline given by the court for a new filing.
The complaint includes citation of US patent No. 6,263,507 which covers an invention that enables a user to efficiently review a large body of information by categorizing and correlating segments of information within the body of information and generating displays of segments that are related to the primary information being viewed by the user. A tool that is used by all the companies mentioned in the lawsuit.
Other patent cited are Nos. 6,034,652 and 6,788,314 which involve technology that enables information to be provided to a user in an unobtrusive manner that does not distract the user from his primary interaction with an apparatus such as, for example, a computer or television. Companies that Interval Licensing says violated these include Apple, Yahoo, Google and AOL.
The lawsuit also targets the Android OS under the same patent, stating that defendant Google has infringed... by making, using, selling, distributing, and encouraging customers to use devices containing the Android Operating System and associated software such as Text Messaging, Google Talk, Google Voice, and Calendar. Devices containing the Android Operating System and associated software infringe by displaying information including, e.g., text messages, Google Voice messages, chat messages, and calendar events, to a user of a mobile device in an unobtrusive manner that occupies the peripheral attention of the user.
It also includes patent no. 6,757,682 that describes a system that receives indications from users that online content is of current interest, processes the indications, and alerts other users of the interesting content. Such technology is employed by all major retailers. Apple's iTunes uses a similar tool to list relate content that a user might be interested in.
Interval Research Corporation was founded in 1992 by Paul Allen and David Liddle. While Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft, Liddle had worked for Xerox. The lawsuit also claims that Interval Research also provided funding to Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page in their research, which resulted in the formation of Google.
Interval Research's 300 patents are currently held by Interval Licensing LLC. Interval Research was closed by Allen in 2000.
Paul Allen follows another Microsoft colleague former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold, who heads a patent collecting company Intellectual Ventures which recently filed patent lawsuits against nine companies which include such names as McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, Hynix and Elpida.
The Seattle Times reported that the lawsuit filed by Allen, if successful, could result in around $500 million in compensation.