Microsoft co-founder sues Apple, Google over patents

By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Microsoft's co-founder Paul Allen is suing Apple and Google, plus nine other companies, for patent infringement.

Allen claims the 11 companies are using technology for which he owns patents, according to court documents filed in a Seattle district court Friday. The papers were filed by Allen's company, Interval Licensing.

The 11 accused companies are: AOL, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo and Google-owned YouTube.

None of the defendants were immediately available for comment.

Allen said he owns the patents to four technologies those companies are allegedly using. An Interval press release calls them "key patents [that] are fundamental to ... leading e-commerce and search companies."

Allen did not invent the technologies; he alleges they were developed at a lab called Interval Research in the 1990s. Allen co-founded and helped finance the influential software lab.

"This lawsuit is necessary to protect our investment in innovation," Allen's spokesman said in the press release. "These are patents developed by and for Interval."

Allen's suit did not specify how much money he is seeking in damages.

Last month, patent holding company NTP Inc. also launched a slew of patent infringement lawsuits against tech giants. NTP, which does not make products, lodged complaints against Apple, Google, HTC, LG Electronics, Microsoft and Motorola for alleged infringements of eight patents related to wireless e-mail delivery.  To top of page

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