Apple Sued by Microsoft Co-Founder
Apple is involved in yet another lawsuit. I know. Shocker, isn't it?
This time, though, the suit involves another "big boy" in the tech business. According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is suing Apple (and eleven companies overall) regarding patent infringements. Allen says the likes of Apple and Google are out of line and blatantly violated his patents involving online recommendation algorithms.
The technology in question was supposedly developed by Allen some ten years ago in a $100 million lab/technology incubator (that no longer exists) called Silicon Valley laboratory Interval Research Corp. It turns out that Allen still holds a number of patents that resulted from the venture. And those are precisely the patents (e-commerce and Internet search-related) that other companies are now allegedly infringing upon.
"The lab worked on numerous projects, with goals to create technology to use in Mr. Allen's ventures in telecom," the WSJ noted. "In later days it also focused on developing technology to license to others. Over the course of a decade, Interval was issued 300 patents. It successfully marketed some of its patent portfolio, including cellular voice processing technology and motion-detection technology used in games that allows a computer to 'see' commands. It also created a 'smart' toy called 'Red Beard's Pirate Quest' and later sold the technology behind it to Lego Group."
Along with Apple and Google, other companies named in the suit include AOL, eBay, FaceBook, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo and YouTube. Microsoft itself, however, is not involved.
Wall Street Journal