Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen may find it tougher to squeeze royalties out of the patents held by one of his portfolio companies, following a court decision involving a patent-infringement lawsuit filed by his now defunct intellectual property licensing firm Interval Licensing.

A federal district court judge Friday dismissed Interval's patent infringement lawsuit filed against Google (GOOG), the search giant's YouTube, Apple (AAPL), Yahoo (YHOO), Facebook, eBay (EBAY), Netflix (NFLX), OfficeMax, Staples, Office Depot and AOL (AOL) [publisher of DailyFinance], according to a Wall Street Journal report.

In making his ruling, the judge cited Interval's failure to identify which specific products or devices the defendants had allegedly used that infringe on Interval's four patents, the report noted.

Interval, however, has until Dec. 28 to file an amended complaint to address the issues the judge cited. Allen's firm reportedly plans to do just that.

Interval, which filed the lawsuit in August, had operated under a 10-year $100 million commitment from Allen, before disbanding. The four patents cited in the lawsuit were not developed by Allen, but rather by members of the Interval lab.

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December 14 2010 at 3:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am so old that I remember Microsoft's beginnings. I remember writing BASIC programs to give me information readily available now at BIGCHARTS.COM. Knowing the history, I am no great fan of Microsoft's founders.

December 13 2010 at 2:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply