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Paul Allen Needs More Money

While billionaires like Bill Gates, Ted Turner and Warren Buffett are giving away their money, Paul Allen is using some of his massive wealth to make money -- by suing the pants off everyone from FaceBook and Google, to Apple and AOL. Not everyone, exactly. These patent lawsuits somehow bypass Microsoft -- Allen's former employer and source of the money he used to create or, in other cases, buy up all these patents in the first place.

Here's the dealio: Allen launched Interval, a research firm, years ago. Now, Interval Licensing is designed to enforce patents, including some related to Web search.

The patents, in some cases, are so broad as to be ridiculous, applying to the fundamental way we all browse. Of course, back in the day, Apple had a patent on overlapping Windows, so go figure.

In Paul's defense, he did just recently pledge to give away a portion of his wealth, and these companies he is suing are not exactly crying poverty.

Does Allen have the right to sue all these folks or is much of this now public domain?

Posted by Doug Barney on 08/30/2010 at 1:18 PM


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