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12/13/2010
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Paul Allen Plans New Claims Against Apple, Google, Facebook

Microsoft co-founder calls judge's dismissal of patent lawsuit "a procedural issue" and says amended complaint is forthcoming.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen vowed to continue his patent fight against Apple, Google, Facebook, and numerous other tech heavyweights despite the fact that a judge dismissed his original case Friday.

Allen, through a spokesman, called the judge's ruling "a procedural issue," according to The Wall Street Journal, and said he would file an amended complaint that contains more specific charges. "The case is staying on track," the spokesman said.

Judge Marsha Pechman, of U.S. District Court for Western Washington, ruled Friday that Allen's suit failed to cite specific devices that infringed on patents held by Interval Licensing, LLC, in which Allen has a controlling interest.

Pechman gave Interval until Dec. 28 to file an amended complaint.

Interval Licensing original filed suit August 27 against Google, Facebook, AOL, Apple, eBay, Netflix, Office Depot, Staples, Yahoo, and YouTube. Interval claimed the defendants' e-commerce operations violated patents that cover "fundamental Web technologies" in areas like browsing, search, and page navigation.

"Interval Research was an early, groundbreaking contributor to the development of the Internet economy," a spokesman for the company said, at the time the suit was filed. "Interval has worked hard to bring its technologies to market through spinning off new companies, technology transfer arrangements, and sales of its patented technology," the spokesman said.

The spokesman, at the time, insisted that Interval Licensing is not a patent troll.

"This lawsuit is necessary to protect our investment in innovation," he said. "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," said the spokesman.

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