Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen has again filed suit against 11 defendants -- including tech giants Apple, Facebook and Google -- for allegedly using patents developed by his research company Inverval Research Corp. Allen's prior lawsuit filed in August was thrown out earlier this month for lacking specific description.
If Allen's Interval Research wins the lawsuit, he could gain $500 million.
While the lawsuit is aimed at a veritable Who's Who of technology, some suggest that Allen's primary focus is on Google, the company he provided research assistance to in the 1990s. In the 35-page complaint, Google is accused of several instances of patent infringement, including allowing Google search, Google Voice, Google Calendar, Google Talk, and text messages on the Android operating system. The lawsuit doesn't seem to address the Apple iOS, nor does it target Microsoft.
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The language aimed at Facebook is even more general, accusing Facebook of "infringing functionality" by allowing users to look at content related to profiles or photos..
Allen, who founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975, is a billionaire but seems to be part of a growing number of people (including former Microsoft executives) who some label as "patent trolls," people or firms that collect or use technology patents specifically for patent infringement lawsuits.