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  • 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
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Sued by Microsoft Co-Founder started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 37 Comments
    1. endwaro's Avatar
      endwaro -
      Quote Originally Posted by zozodouce View Post
      Paul better watch out. I'm pretty sure Apple patented suing lol.
      Epic lol
    1. Phelan_z06's Avatar
      Phelan_z06 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tyronal View Post
      These patient suits are stupid. Someone has an idea, files a patent but never implements it. This kind of games play will see innovation grind to a halt, and if every idea was shelved waiting for someone to sue for picking it up, the IT world will go into a coma. Interval Research had no idea how to build a commercial product and no intention to build a commercial product. It was simply a vehicle to create paper, unimplementable patents. Those who have the ability to implement it, do, then get sued. If they didn't, then we wouldn't get the benefit of using them. The law should be, you have an idea, patent it with express rules that it needs to be implemented within 5 years of patient. Otherwise innovation will be controlled by lawyers. "The first thing we do, is kill all the lawyers." (Shakespeare's Henry VI)
      You hit the nail on the head about one thing in particular. The author of the patents did not know how to market it, and therefor did not make a lot of profit off of it. If the other companies came up with the patented idea on there own, there may be a sore spot in this suit, but if it leaked from the patent-holding company, he definitely has every right to pursue funds coming from those companies. Either way, he was smart to create the patents, and may have been ahead of curve in terms of the standard CEO life as we know it now- build as much power and money in your name as can, and disregard the rest of the company. If he holds the patents, then he KNEW someone could make money off them, and he planned to make money off of them wether he marketed them or not. As someone else stated, he didn't want to stop them from using them, just make money from his endevours and their usage of ideas. If I had an idea and patent, but no knowledge of how to market it, I'd probably do the same thing.
    1. politicalslug's Avatar
      politicalslug -
      **** Paul Allen. That SOB is a multi-billionaire. This frivolous nonsense just jams up an already overworked and overly litigious civil court system.

      Quote Originally Posted by Shishir G View Post
      You moron, you can't just say I CREATED SOMETHING ITS MINE, NO ONE CAN STEAL IT!!!!
      you have to fill out tons of forms, go to the government, pay them, then it MIGHT be patented, but it can be denied.
      MMi LIVES on apple, what the hell is the point of suing them?
      Good point. It costs thousands of dollars to file just one patent, and his company has around 300. Add it up. This is one of the most BS cases I've heard in years. Paul Allen, one of the richest men in the world, billionaire many times over, can't figure out how to sell a product so he becomes a patent troll for sh!ts and giggles. F that!

      Quote Originally Posted by Tyronal View Post
      These patient suits are stupid. Someone has an idea, files a patent but never implements it. This kind of games play will see innovation grind to a halt, and if every idea was shelved waiting for someone to sue for picking it up, the IT world will go into a coma. Interval Research had no idea how to build a commercial product and no intention to build a commercial product. It was simply a vehicle to create paper, unimplementable patents. Those who have the ability to implement it, do, then get sued. If they didn't, then we wouldn't get the benefit of using them. The law should be, you have an idea, patent it with express rules that it needs to be implemented within 5 years of patient. Otherwise innovation will be controlled by lawyers. "The first thing we do, is kill all the lawyers." (Shakespeare's Henry VI)
      I mostly agree, except it takes 3-5 years for a patent just to be approved. The five year implementation should be from the date the patent is approved, even if its commercially implemented years prior to approval. There has to be some standard that works.
    1. sphangman's Avatar
      sphangman -
      they are probably looking for some cash after the kin.
    1. dmicic's Avatar
      dmicic -
      Quote Originally Posted by gafu View Post
      If I created a cure for cancer,it'd be free....there's no price on life
      You must have never heard a man named Nickola Tesla.. He want to give electricity for free to the whole world.... Look him up and see what happens when you wanna help the world and not profit from it!!
    1. iphoneht1234's Avatar
      iphoneht1234 -
      You need some help with your Photoshop skills there. That pic looks terrible. Gotta be careful when you use that magic wand tool.
    1. reanimationxp's Avatar
      reanimationxp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tyronal View Post
      M$ must be worried they're not getting any attention. When google chrome os comes out, they will suffer. Good.
      > Implying Chrome OS is a competitor to Windows in any fashion.

    1. Victorrr39's Avatar
      Victorrr39 -
      When it comes to the mighty dollar , nothing is free.
    1. primalscream.40's Avatar
      primalscream.40 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Souljaboy Izy View Post
      av got a pantent on post position number 8, so c you in court next week




      lol
      Haha lol I'm broke go for it. I got three wifes an 12 kids
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      Quote Originally Posted by politicalslug View Post
      Fukk Paul Allen. That SOB is a multi-billionaire. This frivolous nonsense just jams up an already overworked and overly litigious civil court system.
      Did you say **** Apple? or **** Jobs when Apple is doing it to everyone else? Where is your SOB is a multi-billionaire when Jobs is doing it? Where is your "frivolous nonsense" when Apple went crazy with lawsuits a few months back?

      If you did you would be cheering this guy on because he is giving Apple/Jobs a taste of their own medicine, but if you did not...

      I wonder when Jobs and Apple going to file a counter-suit.
    1. macsoldier's Avatar
      macsoldier -
      Apple just adding to the list, I bet its a political/Legal nightmare at Apple
    1. the sr5's Avatar
      the sr5 -
      Quote Originally Posted by reanimationxp View Post
      Yea and if you told anyone about it you'd be snuffed and it'd be hidden away in a vault somewhere.
      Very true, considering how much the pharmaceutical companies make off of the insurance funds for cancer patients or wealthy enough people that have the money to pay out of pocket for treatment
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      I won't quote the entire passage but to the gentleman that responded to my comment. If someone has a great idea and patents it to protect it then can't find either the funding or source the abilities from various persons to implement it, how can you punish them for that? Lets say you had an idea and couldn't come up with the cash to make it happen then some a-hole with a lot of money brings your idea to market as his own and makes money off of it. Whether the invention benefited the public or not doesn't matter. It is that someone had the idea first and protected their idea via a patent. If you want a piece of that pie you license it, pay royalties, buy the patent, buy the exclusive rights to market the product, etc. There are many options. Stealing an idea, playing it off as your own, making money on it, and not giving financial credit to the creator is not one of your options.

      Here's to Paul Allen giving Apple the sharp stick in the eye that Apple has been giving people and companies when the same happens to them.

      Furthermore, if corporations exist solely to come up with ideas and patent them then make money off those patents then think of it like a patent store where you can shop patents for an invention you want to market. Likewise, anyone else can start doing this as well and it isn't like creating patents solely for monetary gain is harmful because in doing so it brings fresh ideas to light. My idea is patentBay(which I have patented, trademarked, and is protected by copyright) which is an auction site that sells patents.
    1. Tyronal's Avatar
      Tyronal -
      Quote Originally Posted by unison999 View Post
      Did you say **** Apple? or **** Jobs when Apple is doing it to everyone else? Where is your SOB is a multi-billionaire when Jobs is doing it? Where is your "frivolous nonsense" when Apple went crazy with lawsuits a few months back?

      If you did you would be cheering this guy on because he is giving Apple/Jobs a taste of their own medicine, but if you did not...

      I wonder when Jobs and Apple going to file a counter-suit.
      Why is all the vitriol saved just for apple here when most of the top ten IT companies in the world are in the suit too? Oh, microsuck aren't but they breached the same patent law. Sue some but not all. Hypocrisy. Allen's a troll.

      Quote Originally Posted by alexevo View Post
      I won't quote the entire passage but to the gentleman that responded to my comment. If someone has a great idea and patents it to protect it then can't find either the funding or source the abilities from various persons to implement it, how can you punish them for that? Lets say you had an idea and couldn't come up with the cash to make it happen then some a-hole with a lot of money brings your idea to market as his own and makes money off of it. Whether the invention benefited the public or not doesn't matter. It is that someone had the idea first and protected their idea via a patent. If you want a piece of that pie you license it, pay royalties, buy the patent, buy the exclusive rights to market the product, etc. There are many options. Stealing an idea, playing it off as your own, making money on it, and not giving financial credit to the creator is not one of your options.

      Here's to Paul Allen giving Apple the sharp stick in the eye that Apple has been giving people and companies when the same happens to them.

      Furthermore, if corporations exist solely to come up with ideas and patent them then make money off those patents then think of it like a patent store where you can shop patents for an invention you want to market. Likewise, anyone else can start doing this as well and it isn't like creating patents solely for monetary gain is harmful because in doing so it brings fresh ideas to light. My idea is patentBay(which I have patented, trademarked, and is protected by copyright) which is an auction site that sells patents.
      A good person with an idea and the desire, but no resources to implement it will knock on the door of industry to either sell his idea to those who can make it or hire them to do it, not shelve it just waiting sue. A good, smart man will collaborate with business to bring it to life. This has been going on for over a century. You're probably using the very features this patent is written for, but it is not brought to you by Paul Allen. If Allen believed so much about his idea patented a decade ago, why then hasn't he developed it? He's a friggin billionaire and has the resources. How about the other companies on the suit? You hate them so much too? Tell me why M$ aren't being sued as well? Wake up and smell the lawyer trap.
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tyronal View Post
      ...
      Edited quote for content.

      I know full well why he didn't name Microsoft in his suit. Simply put, Microsoft made him most of his money. Would you sue the company you left after they made you a billionaire? I sure wouldn't!

      Look further into it. He is suing for patent infringement. That is part A. Part B is he is only suing companies that have a decent chunk of change with which to pay royalities, pay licensing, or pay settlements. Mozilla, for example, is a mostly non-profit organization and they aren't named in the suit. It would be very bad PR to sue a non-profit organization for something like patent infringement.

      The question here really isn't who is he suing. The question is why. He is suing because either he wants to make them pay for infringing and waited a while to see if it would be financially worth suing over or he is suing because he genuinely feels that they should have done their due diligence and contacted him first about how to obtain the patents, rights to the patents, licenses, etc.

      Does anyone know for sure if Microsoft didn't issue him a big chunk of stock or some sort of compensation in exchange for the ability to bring the ideas in his patents to market with his permission?

      No matter how you slice it, the law is the law and Mr. Allen is in the right. Interval Research did their homework, created the patents, and can do with them as they wish. If you can go and create a product, make money on it, and not pay something to the original creator of the idea then what the F good is a patent but a stupid piece of paper.

      Just because he is suing doesn't mean any one of those companies can't simply strike a deal for royalties, licensing, etc. and have themselves removed from the lawsuit. Likewise, Mr. Allen can still add more companies to the lawsuit so nobody is really sure 100% that Microsoft won't be sued as well.

      Let's face it though, they probably won't.
    1. Tyronal's Avatar
      Tyronal -
      Quote Originally Posted by alexevo View Post
      Edited quote for content.

      I know full well why he didn't name Microsoft in his suit. Simply put, Microsoft made him most of his money. Would you sue the company you left after they made you a billionaire? I sure wouldn't!
      So now we know what he is, he's just haggling on the price. Does that make Bill Gates his pimp?
    1. Tamkis's Avatar
      Tamkis -
      Someone from Microsoft kicks back at Apple, yes! (Not that I hate Apple. Actually, I like both Apple and Microsoft, I just hate Apple's scamulous tricks and tight control over its universe)

      Read Sig
      VVVVVVVV
      Apple might be taking over the world, but Microsoft will kick back, just you wait...