Microsoft co-founder Allen sues over browser patents
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has sued a string of leading web companies claiming that many of their basic functions violate patents he developed after leaving Microsoft, dpa reported.
The complaint, filed Friday in US District Court in Seattle, identifies companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, eBay, Netflix and Yahoo as violating four patents owned by now-defunct research lab and technology incubator Interval Research Group, in which Allen invested 100 million dollars.
Notably absent from the list of defendants were Microsoft and Amazon - both based in Allen's hometown of Seattle.
Among the common functions allegedly covered by the patents are making suggestions to customers based on what they're looking at on their displays, or what people in their online social network are interested in. Other patents let readers of news stories find related content and cover display of secondary content on the margins of a page.
In the lawsuit, Interval asks for unspecified damages and an injunction preventing the defendants from further infringements.