Billionaire files lawsuit against the likes of Google and eBay
A patent law suit filed against internet giants including Google, YouTube and eBay has targeted the use of systems common to search and product marketing.
Paul Allen files second patent suit against Google, eBay and others
Wednesday, December 29 2010 by John Burns
A patent law suit has been filed against some of the world’s biggest ecommerce brands by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and concerns the use of systems used within retail web design.
The Mercer Island billionaire has targeted internet giants including Apple, Google, Facebook, eBay and AOL, as well as mainstream retailers such as Office Depot and Staples.
Mr Allen’s allegations concern patents generated by one of his companies, Interval Research, which was closed down in 2000. They target 11 companies in total, reports the Seattle Times.
The allegations relate to ecommerce and online search functions, including tools used to assist in the website promotion of products related to items being shown on a webpage. This particular system can help to improve website conversion and stickiness, by encouraging website visitors to purchase more than one product.
An initial patent dispute that was filed earlier this year was dismissed by a Seattle federal judge, on grounds that allegations were not specific enough.
Intellectual property specialist Florian Mueller explained on his blog that there is also a lot about these claims that could cause concern for Google mobile operating system Android device manufacturers, and the developers of Android applications.
He said: “Should Google be served an injunction as a result of Interval’s suit, owners of Android phones (a group that includes me, by the way) would experience a very significant degradation of the user experience.”
When the initial patent was filed in August, subsequently rejected by the judge for lack of clarity, both Facebook and eBay told the Seattle Times that they would fight the claims vigorously.
According to the newspaper, experts have suggested that Mr Allen could be set for a payout of around $500 million, although conceded that the claim is a longshot.
Living Streams “Improving clients’ profitability through better use of the internet”.