Paul Allen Loses First Battle in Patent Infringement Lawsuit War

December 14, 2010 -

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who filed a lawsuit against multiple technology companies for alleged patent infringements, has met defeat at the hands of a U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington (Seattle). U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman called the allegations of the suit "spartan" and dismissed the case. Allen and his attorneys have until December 28 to re-file the case, which they have every intention of doing. Allen's lawyers called the judge's ruling a "procedural issue."

The lawsuit filed by Allen's firm Interval Licensing alleged that Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, eBay, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, and Staples violated patents that Allen secured while at the helm of Interval Research. That company may no longer be in business, but the patents live on.

The patents cover "fundamental web technologies." The patents in question are No. 6,263,507; No. 6,034,652; No. 6,788,314; and No. 6,757,682.

Source: C|Net


Comments

Re: Paul Allen Loses First Battle in Patent Infringement ...

He's doing a great job of locking people out of making use of good ideas instead of using them to benefit the public, which was the reason patents are granted in the first place. What a dink! Patent law needs an amendment that states that if you don't produce something with the patent in a reasonable time frame, then you lose the patent and it falls to the public domain.

-Greevar

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: Paul Allen Loses First Battle in Patent Infringement ...

obvious patent troll is obvious.

Re: Paul Allen Loses First Battle in Patent Infringement ...

How long are these things allowed to last? I say 10 years at MOST, should be enough time to recoup cost and plenty of profit, otherwise innovation is slowed, and the economy is hurt, not hindered. If you haven't created in the last 10 years you don't deserve a state protected monoply.

Re: Paul Allen Loses First Battle in Patent Infringement ...

Patents last 20 years.  Which is a damned long time in software but not so long in other industries -- think of housing design, for example.

I don't have a problem with 20-year patents, but I don't think software should be patentable.  Too often we see cases like this one, where people patent an obvious procedure (Amazon's one-click ordering being possibly the most egregious example) and then sue anyone with deep pockets who uses the same obvious procedure.

Re: Paul Allen Loses First Battle in Patent Infringement ...

I could see very short pattents on software.. maybe 18mo-2y or so.

Re: Paul Allen Loses First Battle in Patent Infringement ...

Given how long it takes to decide a patent suit, that wouldn't really be any different from not having patents at all.  By the time an infringer was convicted, the patent would have expired anyway.

 
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