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Paul Allen Files Patent Suit Against Apple, Google, Yahoo, Others 219

mewshi_nya writes "A firm run by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen filed suit alleging 11 technology companies are violating patents developed at a Silicon Valley lab that Allen financed more than a decade ago. Named in the lawsuit: Apple, Google, AOL, eBay, Facebook, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo and Google's YouTube subsidiary. The suit doesn't name Microsoft, Amazon.com or other tech companies in Seattle where Allen is based, and it doesn't estimate a damage amount. The suit lists violations of four patents (PDF) for technology that appear to be key components of the operations of the companies — and that of e-commerce and Internet search companies in general."
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Paul Allen Files Patent Suit Against Apple, Google, Yahoo, Others

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  • by Random BedHead Ed ( 602081 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @05:13PM (#33397962) Homepage Journal

    He's sued AOL, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo and YouTube (so Google ... again!). For some strange reason he did not sue Microsoft. Here are the two primary super-genius patents representing ideas no one else could have come up with:

    • 6,263,507, "Browser for Use in Navigating a Body of Information, With Particular Application to Browsing Information Represented By Audiovisual Data"
    • 6,757,682, "Alerting Users to Items of Current Interest"

    Having alerted you users all to these items of interest, I will now proceed to pay Paul Allen.

  • by hoggoth ( 414195 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @05:39PM (#33398248) Journal

    Obama and Congress will do what their bosses tell them to do.
    Their bosses are the ones who WROTE the current patent laws. Congress doesn't write laws. Corporate ghost writers write laws and Congress signs them.

  • by JImbob0i0 ( 1202835 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @06:00PM (#33398492)

    Microsoft could have settled with him and then he could have used that as an example to go after others... ;)

  • Re:Why now? (Score:5, Informative)

    by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara,hudson&barbara-hudson,com> on Friday August 27, 2010 @06:10PM (#33398588) Journal

    The 507 patent ()2001) falls to prior art - RoboBoard, bbs that downloaded graphic primitives and let you navigate through a virtual world (never mind just audio-visual data). Also the Space Quest and Kings Quest games, etc.

    The 602 and 314 patents "Attention Manager for Occupying the Peripheral Attention of a Person in the Vicinity of a Display Device." is preceded by, among other things, those annoying tickertape displays that have been around for decades, wall clocks for anyone sitting in front of a computer at 4:55 PM, etc.

    The 682 patent "Alerting Users to Items of Current Interest." (2004) is anticipated by the flag on your mailbox that lets you know you have mail, your doorbell, TV Guide magazine, the front page of any newspaper sitting at the news stand, etc. And of course, "You have mail".

    Maybe this will the the one that finally puts the end to stupid software patents.

  • Re:Why now? (Score:4, Informative)

    by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara,hudson&barbara-hudson,com> on Friday August 27, 2010 @07:23PM (#33399150) Journal
    Roboboard was eectronic. Also, the patent totally ignores systems from the '80s like Alex that did hypertext, etc., over a 300 baud connection.

    Adding "On the Internet" or "In a web browser" is not innovation.

Make sure your code does nothing gracefully.