Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder Paul Allen slapped a host of the world's tech titans with a patent infringement lawsuit Friday, alleging that the companies were utilizing key technologies developed by a lab that he had invested in, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Allen claims that Google (GOOG) and its YouTube site, Apple (AAPL), eBay (EBAY), Facebook, Netflix, Yahoo (YHOO) and AOL (AOL) (publisher of DailyFinance), along with Office Depot, OfficeMax and Staples, violated four patents developed by Interval Research lab, in which he reportedly invested $100 million before it disbanded. Employees of the lab, not Allen, developed the technology in question, according to the article, but Allen owns the patents.
One patent focuses on software for making recommendations based on the information a user is viewing, another aids people reading news articles to rapidly located related information, and two concern methods for flashing information such as stock quotes or ads on a computer screen outside the primary focus of the user's attention.
Allen reportedly made his investments into Interval roughly a decade ago. The lab closed shop after running into difficulty finding buyers for its technology, according to the Journal's report.
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