Barney's Blog

Blog archive

Paul Allen vs. the World -- Take 2

Recently we reported on Paul Allen's unsuccessful bid to sue nearly the entire software industry for patent infringement. The patents, won by Allen's company Interval Research, involve some pretty fundamental aspects of Web computing. As such he sued everyone from AOL to Google. For some reason he left Microsoft alone, perhaps because Redmond is responsible for his $13.5 billon in net worth (just for the record, Mark Zuckerberg is worth a cool $14 billion).

An earlier suit was dismissed because the charges were too vague and the court gave Allen more time to put some meat on the lawsuit's bones. Now he's back with more details on just how AOL, Facebook Yahoo, Apple, Google, YouTube and others purportedly violate patents held by Interval Licensing.

Many Redmond Report readers blanched at the earlier suit. The patents in question seem to apply to almost anything one might do with a Web page. Interval is seeking compensation for anything that supports "browsing audiovisual data, grabbing the user's attention on display devices and alerting users to items of current interest."

But there is one interesting nugget: Allen's company claims it loaned manpower and gave money to help start Google, and now it wants something in return. This, too me, has far more gravitas than a bunch of overly general patents.

If Allen wins, what should he do with the money? Buy another sports team or a new mega-yacht? You tell me at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 01/05/2011 at 1:18 PM


Featured

  • Google IDs on Azure Active Directory B2B Service Now at 'General Availability'

    Microsoft announced on Wednesday that users of the Google identity and access service can use their personal log-in IDs with the Azure Active Directory B2B service to access resources as "guests."

  • Top 4 Overlooked Features of a Data Backup Strategy

    When it comes to implementing an airtight backup-and-recovery plan, these are the four must-have features that many enterprises nevertheless tend to forget.

  • Microsoft Bolsters Kubernetes with Azure Confidential Computing

    Microsoft on Tuesday announced various developments concerning the use of Kubernetes, an open source container orchestration solution fostered by Google.

  • Windows Will Have Support for Encrypted DNS

    Microsoft announced this week that the Windows operating system already has support for an encrypted Domain Name System option that promises to add greater privacy protections for Internet connections.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.