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12/29/2010
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Paul Allen Amends Suit Against Apple, Google, Facebook

Microsoft co-founder re-files complaint clarifying the basis for his patent infringement claims against a host of tech firms, in advance of a Dec. 28 court deadline.

Weeks after a U.S. District Court judge rejected his complaint for being too vague and "Spartan," Microsoft co-founder and founder of Interval Licensing Paul Allen once again filed suit against Apple, Facebook, Google, and several other high-tech companies this week.

The court told Allen earlier this month that he had until Dec. 28 to file an amended complaint.

The 35-page amended complaint still focuses on "Browser for Use in Navigating a Body of Information, With Particular Application to Browsing Information Represented By Audiovisual Data," "Attention Manager for Occupying the Peripheral Attention of a Person in the Vicinity of a Display Device," and "Alerting Users to Items of Current Interest," according to WebProNews.

Allen claims products such as AdSense, Android, Facebook and its news feed, Flickr, Gmail, iTunes, Yahoo and Yahoo Finance from AOL, Apple, eBay, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, and YouTube infringe on his patented technologies, reports said. The technologies under question address capabilities such as notification, browsing, search, and page navigation.

In addition to unspecified damages, interest, and reimbursement for legal costs, Allen wants a permanent injunction to bar future infringement or royalties.

But many in the legal community contend Allen has an uphill battle. And some have questioned why Allen, already a billionaire, seeks unspecified additional riches and an ongoing court battle with many appeals, should his amended complaint gain traction. When Interval Licensing first filed suit in August, the company denied it merely was trolling for patents.

"This lawsuit is necessary to protect our investment in innovation," a company spokesman said at the time. "We are not asserting patents that other companies have filed, nor are we buying patents originally assigned to someone else. These are patents developed by and for Interval."

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