Paul Allen Refiles Patents Suit Against Tech Giants

Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen has refiled a patent lawsuit that targets Facebook, Google, Apple and other technology companies. Allen alleges these companies are trespassing on technology his firm, Interval Licensing, owns.

Interval is a research company Allen cofounded in 1992. The company originally filed a patent suit in August in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington against major Internet search and e-commerce companies. The 11 defendants also include AOL, eBay, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo and YouTube.

Judge Marsha Pechman dismissed Allen’s original suit on grounds that it didn’t clearly name actual products or devices that the companies were allegedly infringing upon. Interval filed a new suit on Tuesday and is seeking unspecified damages as well as a ban on products that use the patents in question.

Getting Patent-Specific

Interval Licensing holds patents of Interval Research, a defunct company founded by Allen and David Liddle to perform advanced research and development in the areas of information systems, communications and computer science. The patents in the lawsuit cover fundamental web technologies that Interval claims to have developed in the 1990s.

In the new suit, Interval points to the same four patents listed in the original suit. One patent is for an invention called Browser for Use in Navigating a Body of Information, With Particular Application to Browsing Information Represented By Audiovisual Data. Interval argues that this technology works to match ads from third parties with displayed content. Google, AOL, Apple’s iTunes Store, eBay, Facebook, Netflix, Yahoo and Office Depot, the suit alleges, are infringing on this tech.

Interval claims two additional patents, Attention Manager for Occupying the Peripheral Attention of a Person in the Vicinity of a Display Device, and Attention Manager for Occupying the Peripheral Attention of a Person in the Vicinity of a Display Device, are being infringed by Google’s…

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