Billionaire Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen gave several Silicon Valley tech companies a belated holiday gift. He revised and re-filed a high-profile patent suit that a federal judge had dismissed in December.
In early December, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman threw out the complaint Interval Licensing filed in August, saying that the allegations were not described specifically. She gave Interval until Dec. 28 to revise the suit.
Interval alleged in the original complaint that Apple Inc., Google Inc. and its YouTube subsidiary, Facebook Inc., Yahoo Inc., AOL Inc., eBay Inc., Netflix Inc., Office Max Inc., and Staples Inc. had infringed on technology patents developed at Interval Research Corp., a Palo Alto lab that Allen financed before it was closed down about a decade ago.
In the revised complaint, Interval argues that the defendants infringe on patents dealing with the way movies, news stories, and related content are displayed on websites, as well as computer programs and websites that send alerts to users.
For example, the new complaint claims that several products offered by Apple Inc. infringe those patents, including iTunes, Apple’s app stores, Apple TV systems, and its Apple Dashboard software
Google also uses technology that helps determine related content, the complaint claims. Therefore, services such as Google search, Gmail, Google Finance, Google Videos, Google Maps, Orkut, and the Adsense ad-payment system allegedly infringe its patents, too.