Microsoft co-founder refiles patent lawsuit against Google, Apple, Facebook, others

 | December 30,2010 11:10 am IST

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has refiled a patent lawsuit against a host of web companies, including Google and Apple, after an earlier attempt was rebuffed by a judge for being too vague.


The revised complaint was filed in Seattle Tuesday and alleged that companies such as Facebook, Google, YouTube, AOL Inc, Apple, Yahoo, Netflix, eBay, Office Depot, OfficeMax and Staples violated a series of patents held by Interval Licensing, a company controlled by the billionaire Allen, who founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975.


In the complaint Allen's lawyers allege that one of the patents covers the display of related content to that being shown on the screen. Netflix and eBay violate patents by showing related items to those searched for by users, while Apple's iTunes allegedly infringes on the patents in question with its system for recommending other songs and artists that a user might like that are comparable to the currently displayed artist or album, the complaint said.


Other companies violate patents by sending notifications when email or relevant news items are posted, the complaint alleged.


The lawsuit asks for damages, an order preventing continued infringement, attorney's fees and other costs and relief as deemed appropriate by the court.