Billionaire investor Paul Allen’s patent lawsuit against Apple and other high technology companies has hit a snag as a federal judge in Seattle dismissed the complaint for not describing its allegations specifically enough, reports the “Wall Street Journal” (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704058704576015820206375808.html).
U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman on Friday set a Dec. 28 deadline for the plaintiff, a company controlled by Allen called Interval Licensing LLC, to file an amended complaint. A spokesman for Allen said it plans to do so soon, calling the judge’s order a “procedural issue” that won’t halt the case.
In August it was announced that a tech licensing company controlled by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen was suing 11 companies, including Apple, for violating patents on “fundamental web technologies” developed by Interval Research, the now-defunct Silicon Valley lab that Allen created with Xerox PARC veteran David Liddle in the 1990s.
In addition to Apple, Facebook, Office Depot, Yahoo, YouTube, Netflix and eBay were targeted. Not surprisingly, Microsoft wasn’t on the list.
A total of four Interval Research patents were cited in the complaint, which seeks unspecified monetary damages for alleged patent infringement. Allen’s firm called the patents at issue in the suit “fundamental to the ways that leading e-commerce and search companies operate today.”