Microsoft Co-Founder's Lawsuit Against Apple is Dismissed
Apple may be off the hook for now - at least with regard to one of its many ongoing legal skirmishes. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's lawsuit against Apple (a suit that also involved ten other major companies) has been officially dismissed by U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman, who deemed the complaint to be too "vague" to act on. Allen now has two weeks to file an amended complaint - something his legal representatives say he will do.
The lawsuit in question was filed by Allen's firm Interval Licensing. In addition to Apple, the suit took aim at Google, Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, eBay, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, and Staples. Proving the convoluted and complicated entanglements born of intellectual property and patent usage in contemporary big businesses, Allen says the companies cited all violated patents he received while in charge at Interval Research - a firm that is no longer in business.
After the suit was filed in late summer, Apple (along with other defendants) formally responded by filing a request to dismiss
the charges. "Interval has sued eleven major corporations and made the same bald assertions that each defendant infringes 197 claims in four patents," Apple stated. "As the U.S. Supreme Court noted in Twombly, it is in this type of situation in which courts should use their 'power to insist upon some specificity in pleading before allowing a potentially massive factual controversy to proceed.'"
Ultimately, Apple's assertion that the charges were too vague was similarly recognized by Judge Pechman. Allen, however, plans to keep the case "on track" and appears to maintain the same sentiment expressed in his initial filing, an argument contending that his patents cover "fundamental web technologies first developed at Interval Research in the 1990s, which the company believes are being infringed by major e-commerce and web search companies."