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Paul Allen's Complaint Against the World, as text
Monday, August 30 2010 @ 03:34 AM EDT

So, do you hate software patents yet, now that you've read about Paul Allen's patent infringement lawsuit against the world and his dog?

I think it ought to inspire you, reading Allen's complaint [PDF], that it might get you to the tipping point, or at least help you to understand why most engineers do hate software patents, because they are a drain on the economy and a hindrance to innovation. So we did Allen's complaint as text, sort of as Exhibit A, shall we say, illustrating the point.

But if you can figure out precisely what this litigation is about from this complaint, what the defendants are alleged to have done wrong, you are doing better than I am. It's unbelievably vague.

So are the patents. What is it that these patents do? What's the process or method? I mean, "Alerting Users to Items of Current Interest", a patent on a system for recommending things that might interest you based on your interest in something else? How's this for prior art? When I go to the local hamburger joint, they ask me if I want fries with my burger.

What? It's patent-worthy if the computer asks instead of a human?

Why is Allen stooping to this, you are asking? I mean, suing BestBuy as a patent troll? OfficeMax? That's the legacy he craves? You are not alone. Lee Gomes at the Wall St. Journal, who was one of the first if not the very first mainstream journalist to sniff the gestank of SCO and write about it plainly, now writes about Paul Allen: "This is yet another example of the cynical use of the American legal system to extort money out of successful companies — in the name of protecting innovation and innovators. Shame on Paul Allen for being part of it."

And Gene Quinn on IP Watchdog writes:

Many in the technology sector are wondering what Paul Allen is doing and why he is bringing this lawsuit, which to me seems rather naive. As discussed more fully below, it seems to me that Mr. Allen is attempting to enter the deep, dark world of patent trolls. The tell-tale sign being a complaint without any substantive information and naked recitation of a variety of patents that have “one or more” unspecified claims being infringed for unspecified reasons.
He wants to be the biggest patent troll ever, then?

Allen's suing Google, among others. Of course. Who isn't suing Google these days? Wait. He's suing Apple too. This isn't a favor for a friend, by any chance, is it? Someone who doesn't want his company to be the only one losing big in patent litigation? I mean, if you are a Microsoft competitor, it seems some weird lawsuit is heading your way.

That reminds me. Microsoft is asking the US Supreme Court to overturn the huge loss it sustained in i4i v. Microsoft. It's the largest patent infringement verdict ever to be sustained on appeal. The question presented by Microsoft's petition [PDF] is whether a defense of invalidity requires clear and convincing evidence, rather than just a preponderance of the evidence, even in a case where the lower court failed to take into consideration that there was prior art that the USPTO had not seen prior to issuing the patent. The court has not yet agreed to hear the case. But in this matter, I hope Microsoft is successful.

Allen's suing practically everyone who has been successful in ecommerce on the Internet, except for Microsoft and Amazon, significantly enough, as Todd Bishop pointed out on TechFlash. Why? It makes him look small. I wonder if any of the defendants will notice the omission and raise antitrust issues.

It can't be just money, I don't think, although the huge judgment i4i won may have made folks start to drool uncontrollably, but Allen just pledged to give away half his wealth. Yet the relief he asks for is an injunction or royalties going forward. So money is in this picture. And the Bible does say that a lover of wealth will never feel he has enough. He's been dealing with cancer, successfully that article says, happily, but still he's likely to be having deep thoughts, and I can't help but wonder: is this how he wishes to spend his time, when time is the most precious asset?

Paul Allen's spokesman is defending the litigation, claiming that Allen foresaw many things that later proved to be important, saying the Interval patents cover "a variety of key processes in e-commerce," and that his defunct research company "Interval Research was early —- and right -— on key pieces of the Internet." But Interval Research didn't build any of the products that he claims he foresaw the need for, that I know of. And if you look at the dates he filed for these patents, it raises questions. How far would you have to peer into the future of the Internet in the year 2000, the filing date of this patent? Another was filed in 2000, and this one in 1996. Another one is 1996 also. How much of a prophet are we talking about then?

Here's a relevant interview with Terry Winograd, from 2002, who worked at Interval Research, and notice what he says happened, and I've marked the section that leaps off the page :

Q: And the third company you were involved with was Interval. Talk about that experience.

WINOGRAD: When Dave Liddle was setting up the company he was very interested in having strong connections to Stanford and so he got me involved. I spent a year full time there when they started up, recruiting people and starting projects. I stayed on as a consultant for a few years after that.

Q: You already commented on Action Technologies having, as you phrased it, middling success. Interval and PARC both were interesting cases of inability to commercialize. Would you say that?

WINOGRAD: Yes, I would. I can't add anything to what the business pundits have said over the years, because how things turn into business were never questions that I really focused on. The situations were very different. Obviously Interval started out with much more hindsight because of what had happened at places like PARC. At Interval there was more of an explicit strategy to bring things to market as opposed to PARC, where that wasn't the orientation for many of the people there. The problem is that people who are researchers don't care about that at some level.

Q: Why was Interval unable to succeed in the market?

WINOGRAD: Interval got completely sideswiped by the Web. It was started just before the Web. In fact, my first exposure to Mosaic was through a summer intern at Interval. All of a sudden all of the money and talent and everything else got sucked into the Web. It dried up the pool there, to some extent. It's hard to know what would have happened if the timing hadn't been that way. Interval was looking at devices, at things people use, and at the home, and not looking at putting commerce onto the Internet.

That doesn't really match what Allen's spokesman said, does it? "Sideswiped by the web" means they didn't see it coming, not really, according to Mr. Winograd, anyway. And he says pointblank that Interval was *not* thinking about putting ecommerce on the Internet. I can't help but notice that one of the patents talks about "a display device", not a computer, which would match what Winograd said about devices as opposed to the Internet. What will he claim, that he invented the iPad?

TechFlash has more statements from Allen's spokesman, but his words don't match this interview either:

In a statement, Allen spokesman David Postman called Interval Research “an early, ground-breaking contributor to the development of the internet economy.” He added, “Interval has worked hard to bring its technologies to market through spinning off new companies, technology transfer arrangements, and sales of its patented technology.”

Asked why Microsoft or Amazon wasn’t named among the defendants in the suit, Postman declined to comment on litigation strategy. However, he noted that only a handful of Interval’s hundreds of patents are cited in the suit, and said today’s complaint isn’t necessarily the end of the actions that Interval Licensing might take.

"This is the most recent step in a long process," he said in an email, "but it is not necessarily the end of the process."

Interval has 300 or so patents, and this suit is about only 4 of them.

But key pieces of the internet? Did he read these patents before he said that? Patently O's Dennis Crouch did, and even he says they seem a little thin. Or more exactly, he says these patents focus on what he "might call 'lightweight' usability ideas."

The patents focus on what I might call “lightweight” usability ideas such as a occupying the peripheral attention of a user; organizing audio/visual for display in a browser; and alerting users to items of current interest.

When Interval closed its doors, the patents were transferred to Vulcan Patents LLC (presumably another Paul Allen company) and then to Interval Licensing which remains a Paul Allen company.

The patents are well drafted. Of course, even excellent drafting cannot cure obviousness problems. I suspect that the litigation will focus primarily on whether these inventions were obvious back when the patents were filed? In addition to arguing in court, I expect that the defendants will also appeal to the US Patent Office -- asking the agency to take a second look at the patents via reexamination.

Lightweight. Obvious. I saw one comment on Groklaw that suggested that maybe he's trying to get software declared unpatentable by bringing these patents to the attention of the court. I doubt that, but it actually could happen. As Crouch puts it, "It will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court’s foray into patent law over the past four-years will impact this case."

And Quinn:

The complaint alleges infringement of United States Patent Nos. 6,263,507, 6,034,652, 6,788,314 and 6,757,682. I would love to be able to provide information and detail as to the theory of infringement, but virtually none was provided in the complaint, hence my characterization above suggesting that perhaps Paul Allen has decided to become a patent troll of the first magnitude. This type of complaint by ambush is fairly typical, particularly with patent trolls. Of course, there may be real infringement here and Allen et al may not really be patent trolls, but the complete and utter lack of information in the complaint is troubling, although it has continually become the modus operandi in the patent infringement litigation world.
He says such vagueness ought not to be allowed, and if he represented any of the defendants, he'd file a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim:
Thank goodness that proving patent infringement is not so simple as saying “may patent relates to X and you appear to be doing X.” If it were that simple many hundreds of patent litigators would be out of work. Of course it is not that easy, and filing a lawsuit with such little information ought not to be allowed either. If I were one of the defendants I would file a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim because how in the world is this complaint supposed to put the defendants on any kind of notice?
If success is unlikely, why start? And if you are going to sue over ecommerce, why would you not, how could you not, sue Amazon?

Of course, I asked that of SCO lo these many years ago, why do it when you are likely to lose, and while they never answered, I figured it out over time that it was about getting control of Linux and if that couldn't happen, to be as annoying and loud for as long as possible. Is Allen wanting to control the Internet? That's a dream as big as the sky. Or force everyone to pay homage to him, bringing him tribute, as the brilliant father of the Internet or something goofy like that? Don't reject that out of hand. Here's a journalist who thinks that is exactly what it's about, attribution. Credit. On this TechFlash podcast, Bishop jokes that maybe Al Gore will sue him for making that claim.

Bishop and John Cook on TechFlash say on the podcast at the end of that section that they're going to dig into Allen's finances to see if he's broke. But how broke can you be if you feel you can give away half of your stash and still be fine? So I find that hard to accept, but I'll be watching what they come up with.

Maybe he's like my mom. For years, she had a cleaning woman come once a week, and the night before, she'd clean up the house so the woman wouldn't think she was messy. Now that's just silly, but there you are. The human condition is to be ridiculous. So maybe he wants to give more, since we'll all be able to calculate by what he gives away how much he has left. I mean, if you are the 37th most wealthy man in the world, if you used to be 3rd, maybe it's huge in your mind to scramble back up for the sake of your good name?

It makes me laugh just thinking about that. But then, so did my mom's cleaning frenzies.

Here's the piece that stands out to me. Wired had an article in 1999 on Allen's Interval Research, and I can't help but notice that they were not a pure research company by then. They wanted to develop products from the research they had done. And they failed to be successful at it. He never developed products around these patents, the Wall St. Journal reported. He is suing people who actually are successful in ways Interval never was. Sad.

The other odd thing is that he helped Google with funding at one point, as the article points out:

According to Friday's suit, Interval Research was listed in Google's "credits" site in 1998 as an outside collaborator and one of a handful of sources of research funding for Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page's research that resulted in Google. Google declined to comment on any ties to Interval.
Who in the world will ever let him invest in their startup now? It'd be like being offered an apple by the wicked queen in Snow White. Thanks but no thanks.

******************************************

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
AT SEATTLE

INTERVAL LICENSING LLC,
Plaintiff,

v.

AOL, INC.; APPLE, INC.; eBAY, INC.;
FACEBOOK, INC.; GOOGLE INC.;
NETFLIX, INC.; OFFICE DEPOT, INC.;
OFFICEMAX INC.; STAPLES, INC.;
YAHOO! INC.; AND YOUTUBE, LLC,

Defendants.

___________________________

Case No.

COMPLAINT FOR PATENT
INFRINGEMENT

JURY DEMAND

COMPLAINT FOR PATENT INFRINGEMENT

Plaintiff Interval Licensing LLC, files this complaint for patent infringement against Defendants AOL, Inc., Apple, Inc., eBay, Inc., Facebook, Inc., Google Inc., Netflix, Inc., Office Depot, Inc., OfficeMax Inc., Staples, Inc., Yahoo! Inc., and YouTube, LLC. Plaintiff Interval Licensing LLC alleges:

THE PARTIES

1. Interval Licensing LLC ("Interval") is a limited liability company duly organized under the laws of the state of Washington, with its principal place of business at [address], Seattle, WA 98104.

2. Interval is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that Defendant AOL, Inc. ("AOL") is a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the state of Delaware, with its principal place of business at [address], NY 10003.

3. Interval is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that Defendant Apple, Inc. ("Apple") is a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the state of California, with its principal place of business at [address], CA 95014.

4. Interval is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that Defendant eBay, Inc. ("eBay") is a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the state of Delaware, with its principal place of business at [address], CA 95125.

5. Interval is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that Defendant Facebook, Inc. ("Facebook") is a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the state of Delaware, with its principal place of business at [address], CA 94304.

6. Interval is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that Defendant Google Inc. ("Google") is a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the state of Delaware, with its principal place of business at [address], CA 94043.

1

7. Interval is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that Defendant Netflix, Inc. ("Netflix") is a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the state of Delaware, with its principal place of business at [address], CA 95032.

8. Interval is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that Defendant Office Depot, Inc. ("Office Depot") is a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the state of Delaware, with its principal place of business at [address], FL 33496.

9. Interval is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that Defendant OfficeMax Inc. ("OfficeMax") is a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the state of Delaware, with its principal place of business at [address], IL 60563.

10. Interval is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that Defendant Staples, Inc. ("Staples") is a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the state of Delaware, with its principal place of business at [address], MA 01702.

11. Interval is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that Defendant Yahoo! Inc. ("Yahoo") is a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the state of Delaware, with its principal place of business at [address], CA 94089.

12. Interval is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that Defendant YouTube, LLC ("YouTube") is a limited liability company duly organized and existing

3

under the laws of the state of California, with its principal place of business at [address], CA 94066.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

13. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1338(a) because this action arises under the patent laws of the United States, 35 U.S.C. §§ 1 et seq. Venue is proper in this Federal Circuit pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391(b)-(c) and 1400(b) in that a substantial part of the events giving rise to the claims occurred in this district and the defendants have a regular and established practice of business in this district and have committed acts of infringement in this district.

INTERVAL RESEARCH CORPORATION WAS A PIONEER IN THE
TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY

14. Interval Research Corporation ("Interval Research") was founded in 1992 by Paul Allen and David Liddle to perform advanced research and development in the areas of information systems, communications, and computer science. Mr. Allen, who served as Interval Research's chairman, was one of the earliest pioneers of personal computer software. He co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975 and later founded Vulcan Ventures in 1986. Mr. Liddle served as Interval Research's president and chief executive officer. He was instrumental in developing fundamental technologies starting in the early 1970s when he worked at Xerox at the Palo Alto Research Center.

15. Starting with Mr. Allen, Mr. Liddle, and a handful of scientists and inventors, Interval Research evolved into one of the preeminent technology firms. It employed over 110 of the world's leading scientists, physicists, and engineers, and was at the forefront in designing next-generation science and technology.

4

16. In addition to the research that Interval Research conducted, it also provided funding and assistance for other projects. For example, Interval Research served as an outside collaborator to and provided research funding for Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page's research that resulted in Google. Indeed, a Google screenshot dated September 27, 1998 entitled "About Google!" identifies Interval Research in the "Credits" section as one of two "Outside Collaborators" and one of four sources of "Research Funding" for Google. See Sept. 27, 1998 Website "About Google!" attached as Exhibit 1.

17. Mr. Brin and Mr. Page also recognized Interval Research's funding in the "Acknowledgements" section of their 1998 research article entitled "Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine" in which they "present Google."

18. As a testament to Interval Research's innovation, it was issued approximately 300 patents in less than a decade. Four of those patents are the patents-in-suit.

19. Interval Licensing LLC owns the patents-in-suit. The company is owned and controlled by Mr. Allen.

INFRINGEMENT OF U.S. PATENT NO. 6,263,507

20. On July 17, 2001, United States Patent No. 6,263,507 ("the '507 patent") was duly and legally issued for an invention entitled "Browser for Use in Navigating a Body of Information, With Particular Application to Browsing Information Represented By Audiovisual Data." Interval was assigned the '507 patent and continues to hold all rights and interest in the '507 patent. A true and correct copy of the '507 patent is attached hereto as Exhibit 2.

21. Defendant AOL has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '507 patent. AOL is liable for infringing the '507 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making and using websites, hardware, and software to categorize, compare, and display segments of a body of information as claimed in the patent.

22. Defendant Apple has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '507 patent. Apple is liable for infringing the '507 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by

5

making and using websites, hardware, and software to categorize, compare, and display segments of a body of information as claimed in the patent.

23. Defendant eBay has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '507 patent. eBay is liable for infringing the '507 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making and using websites, hardware, and software to categorize, compare, and display segments of a body of information as claimed in the patent.

24. Defendant Google has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '507 patent. Google is liable for infringing the '507 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making and using websites, hardware, and software to categorize, compare, and display segments of a body of information as claimed in the patent.

25. Defendant Netflix has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '507 patent. Netflix is liable for infringing the '507 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making and using websites, hardware, and software to categorize, compare, and display segments of a body of information as claimed in the patent.

6

26. Defendant Office Depot has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '507 patent. Office Depot is liable for infringing the '507 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making and using websites, hardware, and software to categorize, compare, and display segments of a body of information as claimed in the patent.

27. Defendant OfficeMax has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '507 patent. OfficeMax is liable for infringing the '507 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making and using websites, hardware, and software to categorize, compare, and display segments of a body of information as claimed in the patent.

28. Defendant Staples has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '507 patent. Staples is liable for infringing the '507 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making and using websites, hardware, and software to categorize, compare, and display segments of a body of information as claimed in the patent.

29. Defendant Yahoo has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '507 patent. Yahoo is liable for infringing the '507 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making and using websites, hardware, and software to categorize, compare, and display segments of a body of information as claimed in the patent.

30. Defendant YouTube has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '507 patent. YouTube is liable for infringing the '507 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making and using websites, hardware, and software to categorize, compare, and display segments of a body of information as claimed in the patent.

31. Defendants AOL, Apple, eBay, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo, and YouTube's acts of infringement have caused damage to Interval, and Interval is entitled to recover from Defendants the damages sustained by Interval as a result of Defendants' wrongful acts in an amount subject to proof at trial. Defendants' infringement of Interval's exclusive rights under the '507 patent will continue to damage Interval, causing irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law, unless enjoined by this Court. Interval reserves the right to allege, after discovery, that Defendants'

7

infringement is willful and deliberate, entitling Interval to increased damages under 35 U.S.C. § 284 and to attorney's fees and costs incurred in prosecuting this action under 35 U.S.C. § 285.

INFRINGEMENT OF U.S. PATENT NO. 6,034,652

32. On March 7, 2000, United States Patent No. 6,034,652 ("the '652 patent") was duly and legally issued for an invention entitled "Attention Manager for Occupying the Peripheral Attention of a Person in the Vicinity of a Display Device." Interval was assigned the '652 patent and continues to hold all rights and interest in the '652 patent. A true and correct copy of the '652 patent is attached hereto as Exhibit 3.

33. Defendant AOL has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '652 patent. AOL is liable for infringing the '652 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making, using, offering, providing, and encouraging customers to use products that display information in a way that occupies the peripheral attention of the user as claimed in the patent.

34. Defendant Apple has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '652 patent. Apple is liable for infringing the '652 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making, using, offering, providing, and encouraging customers to use products that display information in a way that occupies the peripheral attention of the user as claimed in the patents.

35. Defendant Google has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '652 patent. Google is liable for infringing the '652 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making, using, offering, providing, and encouraging customers to use products that display information in a way that occupies the peripheral attention of the user as claimed in the patent.

36. Defendant Yahoo has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '652 patent. Yahoo is liable for infringing the '652 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making, using, offering, providing, and encouraging customers to use products that display

8

information in a way that occupies the peripheral attention of the user as claimed in the patent.

37. Defendants AOL, Apple, Google, and Yahoo's acts of infringement have caused damage to Interval, and Interval is entitled to recover from Defendants the damages sustained by Interval as a result of Defendants' wrongful acts in an amount subject to proof at trial. Defendants' infringement of Interval's exclusive rights under the '652 patent will continue to damage Interval, causing irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law, unless enjoined by this Court. Interval reserves the right to allege, after discovery, that Defendants' infringement is willful and deliberate, entitling Interval to increased damages under 35 U.S.C. § 284 and to attorney's fees and costs incurred in prosecuting this action under 35 U.S.C. § 285.

INFRINGEMENT OF U.S. PATENT NO. 6,788,314

38. On September 7, 2004, United States Patent No. 6,788,314 ("the '314 patent") was duly and legally issued for an invention entitled "Attention Manager for Occupying the Peripheral Attention of a Person in the Vicinity of a Display Device." Interval was assigned the '314 patent and continues to hold all rights and interest in the '314 patent. A true and correct copy of the '314 patent is attached hereto as Exhibit 4.

9

39. Defendant AOL has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '314 patent. AOL is liable for infringing the '314 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making, using, offering, providing, and encouraging customers to use products that display information in a way that occupies the peripheral attention of the user as claimed in the patent.

40. Defendant Apple has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '314 patent. Apple is liable for infringing the '314 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making, using, offering, providing, and encouraging customers to use products that display information in a way that occupies the peripheral attention of the user as claimed in the patent.

41. Defendant Google has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '314 patent. Google is liable for infringing the '314 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making, using, offering, providing, and encouraging customers to use products that display information in a way that occupies the peripheral attention of the user as claimed in the patent.

42. Defendant Yahoo has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '314 patent. Yahoo is liable for infringing the '314 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making, using, offering, providing, and encouraging customers to use products that display information in a way that occupies the peripheral attention of the user as claimed in the patent.

43. Defendants AOL, Apple, Google, and Yahoo's acts of infringement have caused damage to Interval, and Interval is entitled to recover from Defendants the damages sustained by Interval as a result of Defendants' wrongful acts in an amount subject to proof

10

at trial. Defendants' infringement of Interval's exclusive rights under the '314 patent will continue to damage Interval, causing irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law, unless enjoined by this Court. Interval reserves the right to allege, after discovery, that Defendants' infringement is willful and deliberate, entitling Interval to increased damages under 35 U.S.C. § 284 and to attorney's fees and costs incurred in prosecuting this action under 35 U.S.C. § 285.

INFRINGEMENT OF U.S. PATENT NO. 6,757,682

44. On June 29, 2004, United States Patent No. 6,757,682 ("the '682 patent") was duly and legally issued for an invention entitled "Alerting Users to Items of Current Interest." Interval was assigned the '682 patent and continues to hold all rights and interest in the '682 patent. A true and correct copy of the '682 patent is attached hereto as Exhibit 5.

45. Defendant AOL has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '682 patent. AOL is liable for infringing the '682 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making and using websites and associated hardware and software to provide alerts that information is of current interest to a user as claimed in the patent.

46. Defendant Apple has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '682 patent. Apple is liable for infringing the '682 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making and using websites and associated hardware and software to provide alerts that information is of current interest to a user as claimed in the patent.

47. Defendant eBay has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '682 patent. eBay is liable for infringing the '682 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making and using websites and associated hardware and software to provide alerts that information is of current interest to a user as claimed in the patent.

11

48. Defendant Facebook has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '682 patent. Facebook is liable for infringing the '682 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making and using websites and associated hardware and software to provide alerts that information is of current interest to a user as claimed in the patent.

49. Defendant Google has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '682 patent. Google is liable for infringing the '682 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making and using websites and associated hardware and software to provide alerts that information is of current interest to a user as claimed in the patent.

50. Defendant Netflix has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '682 patent. Netflix is liable for infringing the '682 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making and using websites and associated hardware and software to provide alerts that information is of current interest to a user as claimed in the patent.

51. Defendant Office Depot has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '682 patent. Office Depot is liable for infringing the '682 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making and using websites and associated hardware and software to provide alerts that information is of current interest to a user as claimed in the patent.

52. Defendant OfficeMax has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '682 patent. OfficeMax is liable for infringing the '682 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making and using websites and associated hardware and software to provide alerts that information is of current interest to a user as claimed in the patent.

53. Defendant Staples has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '682 patent. Staples is liable for infringing the '682 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by

12

making and using websites and associated hardware and software to provide alerts that information is of current interest to a user as claimed in the patent.

54. Defendant Yahoo has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '682 patent. Yahoo is liable for infringing the '682 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making and using websites and associated hardware and software to provide alerts that information is of current interest to a user as claimed in the patent.

55. Defendant YouTube has infringed and continues to infringe one or more claims of the '682 patent. YouTube is liable for infringing the '682 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making and using websites and associated hardware and software to provide alerts that information is of current interest to a user as claimed in the patent.

56. Defendants AOL, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo, and YouTube's acts of infringement have caused damage to Interval, and Interval is entitled to recover from Defendants the damages sustained by Interval as a result of Defendants' wrongful acts in an amount subject to proof at trial. Defendants' infringement of Interval's exclusive rights under the '682 patent will continue to damage Interval, causing irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law, unless enjoined by this Court. Interval reserves the right to allege, after discovery, that Defendants' infringement is willful and deliberate, entitling Interval to increased damages under 35 U.S.C. § 284 and to attorney's fees and costs incurred in prosecuting this action under 35 U.S.C. § 285.

JURY DEMAND

57. Pursuant to Rule 38(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Interval respectfully requests a trial by jury on all issues properly triable by jury.

13

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff Interval Licensing LLC requests entry of judgment in its favor and against Defendants as follows:

a) Declaration that (1) Defendants AOL, Apple, eBay, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo, and YouTube have infringed U.S. Patent No. 6,263,507; (2) Defendants AOL, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo, and YouTube have infringed U.S. Patent No. 6,757,682; and (3) Defendants AOL, Apple, Google, and Yahoo have infringed U.S. Patent Nos. 6,034,652 and 6,788,314.

b) Awarding the damages arising out of (1) Defendants' AOL, Apple, eBay, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo, and YouTube's infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,263,507; (2) Defendants' AOL, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo, and YouTube's infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,757,682; and (3) Defendants' AOL, Apple, Google, and Yahoo's infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,034,652 and 6,788,314, to Interval, together with prejudgment and post-judgment interest, in an amount according to proof;

c) Permanently enjoining Defendants and their respective officers, agents, employees, and those acting in privity with them, from further infringement, including contributory infringement and/or inducing infringement, of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,263,507, 6,034,652, 6,788,314, and 6,757,682, or in the alternative, awarding a royalty for post-judgment infringement;

d) Awarding attorney's fees pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 285 or as otherwise permitted by law; and

14

e) Awarding such other costs and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

Dated: August 27, 2010
/s/ Justin A. Nelson
Justin A. Nelson
WA Bar No. 31864
[E-Mail]
Matthew R. Berry
WA Bar No. 37364
[E-Mail]
SUSMAN GODFREY L.L.P.
[address, phone, fax]

Max L. Tribble, Jr.
[E-Mail]
SUSMAN GODFREY L.L.P.
[address, phone, fax]

Michael F. Heim
[E-mail]
Eric J. Enger
[E-mail]
Nathan J. Davis
[E-mail]
HEIM, PAYNE & CHORUSH, L.L.P.
[address, phone, fax]

Attorneys for INTERVAL LICENSING LLC

15


  


Paul Allen's Complaint Against the World, as text | 358 comments | Create New Account
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Paul Allen's Complaint Against the World, as text
Authored by: Karl Prince on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 03:55 AM EDT
Maybe he is doing the "the right thing", and going to totally
discredit the system of software patents

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections Thread
Authored by: ThrPilgrim on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 04:22 AM EDT

Put corrections to spelling miscakes here

---
Beware of him who would deny you access to information for in his heart he considers himself your master.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic Thread
Authored by: ThrPilgrim on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 04:24 AM EDT
Anything on topic is off topic here. Please make links click-able and use HTML
where appropriate.

---
Beware of him who would deny you access to information for in his heart he
considers himself your master.

[ Reply to This | # ]

News Picks Discussion
Authored by: ThrPilgrim on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 04:26 AM EDT
This thread s for discussions of the news stories on the main page. Please
include the title of the news pick in the subject line of the post.

---
Beware of him who would deny you access to information for in his heart he
considers himself your master.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Everything COMES Here
Authored by: ThrPilgrim on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 04:29 AM EDT
Please post in plain text with all the HTML showing, so PJ just has to cut and
paste.

---
Beware of him who would deny you access to information for in his heart he
considers himself your master.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The nuclear option
Authored by: Ian Al on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 04:45 AM EDT
I believe that, when a nuclear power station is about to go critical and
explode, there is a flashing light bulb intended to attract the attendant's
attention via his peripheral vision and warn him of the danger.

I think these should all be disabled until the validity of Paul Allen's patents
are proven in court.

---
Regards
Ian Al
SCOG, what ever happened to them? Whatever, it was less than they deserve.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Pleading standards
Authored by: Henning Makholm on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 04:58 AM EDT
Wow. How can this piece of fluff possibly survive a motion to dismiss based on the Supreme Court's TwomblyIqbal standard?

First, the tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice. (Although for the purposes of a motion to dismiss we must take all of the factual allegations in the complaint as true, we are not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation). Rule 8 marks a notable and generous departure from the hyper-technical, code-pleading regime of a prior era, but it does not unlock the doors of discovery for a plaintiff armed with nothing more than conclusions. ...

[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged–but it has not shown–that the pleader is entitled to relief. In keeping with these principles a court considering a motion to dismiss can choose to begin by identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth. While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations.

(Ashcroft v. Iqbal, slip op. at 14–15, without internal citations).

[ Reply to This | # ]

'682 patent -- overly broad or vague
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 05:29 AM EDT
Just for the heck of it I looked at the independent claims of Patent 6,757,682.
The patent is both overly broad and vague.

Claim 1 is for "a computer configured to receive...an indication that the
item is of current interest". Any computer used for browsing the web can
receive an indication. The purpose of any search engine is to find items of
interest. The patent date is June 29, 2004, well after search engines were in
wide use.

Nowhere in any claim does it say how it is determined that an item is of
interest. Claim 6 says that the user supplies categories of interest. Again,
this sounds like a search engine without any details of how it works. Claim 17
mentions that data relating to the indication might be stored in a database. A
patent is suposed to tell someone skilled in the state of the art how to
implement the invention. I do not see anything about the implementation. A
related patent, 6,556,989, is for quantifying the level of interest. It might
have implementation details. I thought a patent had to stand on its own.

Bob

[ Reply to This | # ]

You misunderstood the recommendation patent
Authored by: GreenDuck on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 05:30 AM EDT
Hi PJ,

Sorry if this comes across sounding hash - I've sweated too many hours and
have too much emotionally invested in these system to discuss them entirely
rationally :)

What the patent describes is NOT "Would you like fries with that"...
it's along
the same lines in that it tells you what to buy but one step more complicated.

Say you go to a burger joint and say 'Oh, I loved the wedges and mayo', to
which the waitress replies 'you should try the banoffee pie'. What's gone on
here is not that Banoffee pie goes with wedges (your analogy) but instead that
the kinds of people that like wedges also like Banoffee pie.

Doing this wel is l_INCREDIBLY_, MIND BLOWINGLY valuable. As in, I cannot
over-state how valuable... think how valuable much money google has made
out of finding people the right webpage, and it's far more valuable than that.

I know you're not big on the financial side but some random examples. All
examples are semi-hypotetical:

"The reason I go to Amazon rather than Barnes and Noble is they seem to
know what I like there".

"Oh, I never knew that the Republicans better align with my values than the

Democrats, I always voted Democrat because my parents did".

"Wow, thanks so much for letting me know that Clara is my perfect match - I

sent her a brief letter, one thing led to another and we're getting married next

fall"

Now, how much would people pay to be told accurately who they would be
happiest to marry? I'm trying here to give you some sense of just how big
recommendation systems. Hopefully I've done that now and will now try to
instead cover how complicated they are.

I've been studying recommendation systems on and off for ten years now. In
the end I gave up and decided that the amount of time I was spending
studying them (hobby level) was barely enough to keep up in the field and not
enough to contribute meaningfully. I'm not completely uneducated either, I
have a PhD in computational statistics so I have experience in a field that is
closely related.

The problem is that someone saying they like something might mean that
thing is good, or it could mean that person is in a happy mood, or they like
that general class of things, or.... Similarly, someone saying they dislike
"12
Angry men" might be because they only like modern movies, or they only like

romantic comedy, they are a lawyer and object to some detail about the plot
or ... In document retrieval (eg google), you can ignore the reason for each
link and simply count the number of links... it doesn't always work (link farms

etc) but it's close. That just doesn't seem to work for decent recommendation
systems.

The next point is that the 'solution' when it's finally developed will likely be

simple, much like PageRank is simple. The magic of recommendation systems
comes from the data provided as input. All the algorithm has to do is work
out what information is signal and what is noise.

Ok, I've massively simplified but some key points:
1) There's lots of money to be made here (worth spending time on)
2) The algorithm will be clever (hard to invent)
3) The algorithm will be short (so copyright won't help much)

So I can see why VC funded people in the field would want patent protection.
Though to be honest the field is still in its infancy with new advances every
month. I would be gobsmacked if this patent describes an algorithm that's
anywhere near state of the hard. Besides, the best algorithms are all
published in academic journals, why would I waste time on patents?



[ Reply to This | # ]

Desperate for investor - Paul Allen's Complaint Against the World, as text
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 06:32 AM EDT
Who in the world will ever let him invest in their startup now? Depends on how
desperate you are. Some people make very bad decisions, but feel they have no
choice. Check cashing services anyone?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Dr Strangelove
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 07:28 AM EDT
I don't know, it sounds so huge in scope and so ridiculous, and the patents
themselves should never survive, that I can't believe he intends to really win.
It's like the hydrogen bomb, you don't really intend to use it.

I'm not saying I trust him, but what he is doing, and the people he's suing, and
the amount of money involved, can only have a negative affect on the
patentability of software. It MUST call into question the whole patent system.
Could that be his game? It can't only be about money.

[ Reply to This | # ]

When does Supreme Court decide to take the case or not?
Authored by: nb on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 07:56 AM EDT
Regarding Microsoft's petition to the supreme court regarding the i4i patent
case: What's a reasonable expectation with regard to when we will know whether
the Supreme Court is going to take the case or not?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Truth is becoming irrelevant in public life
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 08:00 AM EDT
You saw it with SCO. You see it all the time with Microsoft, most
conspicuously with OOXML. You see it with the filing of hundreds
of thousands of patents that the filers know are not original. Now,
Paul Allen. Not to mention politics.

Facts still matter in court, but facts are very expensive and very
hard work. And out of court, what do you see? You see a false
accusation, and the accused fires back with facts, logic and merit.
But it doesn't work. The accused is aiming at a target that isn't there.

If facts are all you have, you are at a huge disadvantage. You have
to create your own reality and see which reality gets the most votes.

This is our brave new world of 21st century discourse.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Paul Allen's Complaint Against the World, as text
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 08:00 AM EDT
The original hypertext project "Project Xanadu" dating back to the
1960:s should be enough "prior art" to shoot down most of this
lawsuit? Or?

http://www.xanadu.net/

M

[ Reply to This | # ]

One of his patent apps FAILED in Europe
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 08:09 AM EDT
His audiovisual data browser didn't go through at the EPO. He filed, and withdrew (sorry for THAT source but might be clue for invalidity in US). But no, the USPTO...

[ Reply to This | # ]

How broke can you be to give up half your stash?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 10:10 AM EDT

Well... considering what's talking is press-release, good PR people, my answer would be:

    If you're already in a fix and giving away half of something doesn't really matter....
That's not to say that's the situation Mr. Allen is in. But it is a possibility that answers the question.
    Look Bob, you owe over $500,000, your stash (if we define stash as what you have in a safe deposit box) amounts to $50. Give away $25, we'll say you're giving away half. It'll be great for PR.

RAS

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ed Bott and Florian Mueller for Paul Allen
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 10:45 AM EDT
Why is this not surprising? Ed Microsoft-on-ZDnet Bott feat. Florian on Twitter
Excellent follow up by @FOSSpatents on Paul Allen and patents: Can he get an injunction? http://bit.ly/bCql2h

[ Reply to This | # ]

Like I said before: bring on the patent stupidity now!
Authored by: ftcsm on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 10:47 AM EDT
I really think it's the oportunity to measure the volume of (wasted) resources
that gets allocated to this madness and publish a result comparing with how many
jobs should have been possible with that money.

Nothing will strike better on the people's mind in the middle of a brutal
recession with high unemployment numbers. I can almost guarantee LOTS of
attention from the public and big outcry from public opinion and media. Add a
well written editorial, with some neat picked examples of software patents and
how they are used to extort money from healthy enterprises, that could be using
the money to withstand recession without firing workers and you'll have fertile
ground to some pressure on politics.

Let us use the same weapons they use (media) with a difference: logic is on our
side. Just have to be a well tought campaign to blame the trolls and inneficient
companies on the problems they are causing. OK, they can buy media time but
media cannot let that pass without a mention. Whisper to them that Obama is
doing nothing to hold that craziness and they will surely start to hear
(everybody seems to like to blame Obama for something now that they discovered
he is just human after all).

I'm not american and I really just care cause that stupidity can spread with
ACTA, so it's in my best interest to stop it at the origin. Please do something
now! Put full pressure now or miss a great opportunity. And a side effect would
also to blame Allen (and indirectly MS, Oracle, Apple) for causing problems
during a recession, something really unamerican. Call them bullies and associate
them with losers, with the image of someone crying for mom cause they can't win
at the field. Kills two birds with only one shot (I know, so not
"policatlly correct" ... who cares?).

Flavio
Brazil

---

------
Faith moves mountains but I still prefer dynamite

[ Reply to This | # ]

I have to ask
Authored by: mcinsand on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 10:50 AM EDT
Is there any chance that this is actually an attack on the patent system rather
than the world? I don't know much about Mr. Allen's technical ideology, but
something as absurd as this brings to mind Lincoln's quote about the best way to
defeat a bad law being to enforce it.

Regards,
mc

[ Reply to This | # ]

Paul Allen's trying to help the world
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 10:58 AM EDT
Maybe he's hoping that by filing a overly broad claim with out any supporting
evidence that the judge will dismiss the case with prejudice thus protecting
everyone from further attacks. Maybe the judge will go so far as to invalidate
software patents to teach him and other trolls a lesson.

Somebody has to file a case for SCOTUS to make a decision.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Paul Allen's Complaint Against the World, as text
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 11:00 AM EDT
I noticed that each declaration of infringement ended with the boilerplate,

xxx,yyy,zzz... has caused damage to Interval...

Too bad that statement can't be literally challenged.

What I'm saying is, it would seem that if you have a product, that you sell,
that embodies this patent, and others use the patent and your sales drop,
then that is damage.

What exactly is the damage here?

The fact that they can't license their patent?
If others can't work around the patent, then isn't the patent perhaps overly
broad? If its a choke hold, then how does the patent foster innovation?

If its such a critical lynchpin, then wouldn't someone that is an expert in the

field have figured it out independently?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Gene Quinn said that???
Authored by: red floyd on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 11:15 AM EDT
You know you're in trouble when *GENE QUINN* thinks you're a patent troll.

---
I am not merely a "consumer" or a "taxpayer". I am a *CITIZEN* of the United
States of America.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Paul Allen's Complaint Against the World, as text
Authored by: jvillain on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 12:12 PM EDT
<blockquote>That doesn't really match what Allen's spokesman said, does
it? "Sideswiped by the web" means they didn't see it coming, not
really, according to Mr. Winograd, anyway</blockquote>

It really wouldn't be surprising if they were side swiped by the net as
Microsoft was way, way late to the party. Back when Gates book The Road Ahead
came out there was was a line attributed to it where Gates supposedly said about
the internet some thing to the effect of "We completely missed it".

That is of course over overbearingly obvious to any one that was on the internet
before the WWW part took hold. If you remember loading third party Winsock to
get on the net because Microsoft had no TCP/IP stack then you know how badly
they botched it.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Paul Allen's Complaint Against the World, as text
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 12:16 PM EDT
These cases should be put in front of Judge Judy.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Any chance he really wants to lose?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 01:20 PM EDT
Any chance he is doing this to get more cases in front of the
Supreme Court to show them Justice Stevens was correct?

I guess if this was his motive, he could have sued MS alone,
kept the whole thing within the family.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Allen's Investments
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 01:38 PM EDT
Bishop and John Cook on TechFlash say on the podcast at the end of that section that they're going to dig into Allen's finances to see if he's broke. But how broke can you be if you feel you can give away half of your stash and still be fine? So I find that hard to accept, but I'll be watching what they come up with.

I haven't researched Allen's finances in any detail, but what he is mainly famous for is making a lot of money from his early days in Microsoft and then blowing it on one failed business venture after another. I would not be surprised at all if he was feeling the pinch and counting his last few billion. He doesn't have to be actually broke to "need" more money. He just has to be finding it hard to keep his head up in the billionaire's club of yachts, private islands, and high profile philanthropy.

His business history is rather like Microsoft's own business history. Microsoft makes piles of money from a couple of their early products (MS Windows and MS Office), but most of their subsequent products have tended to be financial sinkholes. Microsoft may publish public accounts, but Allen's personal finances will be more opaque. Counting up the major assets will be relatively easy. Counting up the debts may be another problem altogether. He may have privately guaranteed the liabilities of some of the companies he owns and it wouldn't show up until those guaranties were called on and he was unable to meet them. I'm not trying to suggest here that his finances are shaky - I am just saying that not all the information necessary to judge this will be available to the public.

I doubt that he has any deep laid plans to undermine the patent system. I think this is exactly what it looks like - a grab for some cash. If his current actions provide the political impetus to trim back the scope of software patents in the US, that would just be an unintended benefit to society.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Paul Allen's Complaint Against the World, as text
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 02:34 PM EDT
Some things that strike me as odd.

Aren't the 652 and 314 Patents basically the same thing? (At least by their
Title, I would say they are)

Didn't AOL send (spam) out Discs before 2001 which included their browser?

As for Microsoft, wouldn't it make sense that when he founded Interval Research,
he would have made sure that his other company (or companies) had licenses to
whatever he patented? Along that line, every company that I've applied for jobs
at recently had clauses that said essentially "If you invent something that
would benefit us while you're working for us, it's ours." So, wouldn't
that apply to him?

Is there any way of finding out who has licenses for the patents? I mean, are
they registered somewhere (for companies moreso than consumers)? It would be
nice to dig into things to find out if Barnes & Noble and Amazon have
licenses.

Also, aren't you in violation here PJ (oh wait, so am I)? After all, you do
have sidebars which are peripheral means to attract attention (at least as far
as how I read the titles).

As for the patents, I hope they all shrivel up and die... Although one of the
commenters on Ed Bott's article (GoodThings2Life) did have what I thought was a
reasonable solution to the Patent issue.

Have a great day:)
Patrick.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The 682 patent
Authored by: whitleych on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 03:35 PM EDT
Isn't this basically RSS?

[ Reply to This | # ]

How to not infringe: '682
Authored by: Marc Mengel on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 04:16 PM EDT
So *all* of the claims in the '682 patent, either directly, or by reference,
refer to determining an "intensity value to be associated with the
indication" and "an intensity weight value". So as long as you
never compute any pair of values which indicate how "intensely" the
user is interested in the items at hand, you do not infringe the patent.

[ Reply to This | # ]

passage of time
Authored by: mcinsand on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 04:24 PM EDT
How relevant is it that 6 years have gone by since those patents issued and the
current action?

Regards,
mc

[ Reply to This | # ]

How not to infringe: '507
Authored by: Marc Mengel on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 04:33 PM EDT

So here, everything is dependant on the claims 1, 20, 32, 39, 45, 51, 63, 82,
88, 94 (boy this has a lot of claims),
101, 107, 113, 118, and 125.

But basically, if you don't:
1) divide data (particularly video) into (a plurality of) segments
2) categorize data (or data segments) into "subject areas"
3) receive TV/radio broadcast signals
4) decide if two data chunks are "relevant" by converting the format
of one to the other format, and doing some sort of relevance comparison (isn't
this supposed to say how relevance is computed if its a patent?!?)

[ Reply to This | # ]

How not to infringe: '652
Authored by: Marc Mengel on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 04:46 PM EDT
Addressing the independant claims:

Claim 1: don't "audit the display" of sets of data.

Claim 2: dont detect if the user is idle.

Claim 4: dont display control options with unobtrusive data(?)

Claim 12: dont' detect if the user is idle.

claim 13, 14: don't put time constraints on display data or
don't provide software to aquire the data to be displayed (they already have
a browser, so...) or
don't provide a computer readable medium

claim 15: don't provide software to aquire the data to be displayed (they
already have a browser, so...) or
don't provide a computer readable medium

claim 17: don't provide isntructions for aquiring data, don't provide time
constraints on data to be presented, don't provide display instructions(?) and
don't provie computer readable media.

claim 18: don't provide isntructions for aquiring data, don't provide time
constraints on data to be presented, don't provide display instructions(?) and
don't provie computer readable media.

For 13-18, can we claim that a website is not a computer readable medium?!?






[ Reply to This | # ]

How not to infringe '314
Authored by: Marc Mengel on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 04:56 PM EDT

Concentrating again on the independant claims

All claims: don't be unobtrusive about displaying anything :-), don't engage
user's "peripheral attention"

Claim 1: don't provide instructions for enabling display;
don't "audit" display of images;
don't send or use time/sequencing/scheduling info
about images to be displayed
don't keep the display control system in the same
physical location as the display (can you say
it's a website, silly)

Claim 3: don't provide a computer readable medium;
don't audit display of images;
don't send or use scheduling/sequencing info about images

Claim 5: don't detect when users are idle
list from claim 3

Claim 7:don't send or use scheduling/sequencing info about images;
don't keep the display control system in the same
physical location as the display;

Claim 10: ignore any timing/scheduling information any images may have.

Claim 13: don't provide a computer readable medium, don't provide instructions
for aquiring data (they already have a web browser); don't send or use
timing/scheduling information about images

[ Reply to This | # ]

If success is unlikely, why start?
Authored by: SpaceLifeForm on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 05:19 PM EDT
Discovery.

Lots of strategic information can be gleaned via discovery.


---

You are being MICROattacked, from various angles, in a SOFT manner.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I told you I would sue you if you did not sign a license agreement...
Authored by: UncleJosh on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 06:57 PM EDT
Perhaps the reason Microsoft and Amazon are not named is that they have signed
agreements?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Paul Allen's Complaint Against the World, as text
Authored by: pallen on Monday, August 30 2010 @ 11:03 PM EDT
Paul Allen has lost all credibility with this action. I used to think he was
better than Bill.

---
Paul Allen (not that one)

[ Reply to This | # ]

New business model
Authored by: soronlin on Tuesday, August 31 2010 @ 05:44 AM EDT
It used to be that to make money as an industry visionary, you had to actually
do something. If these cases succeed then that is no longer the case. All you
have to do is to patent your vision, however fuzzy, and wait for the world to
invent it. Then you can syphon off their profits without ever needing to take a
risk or do any manual labour.

And you don't have to be very accurate either. Make 300 predictions, and maybe
1% come true. Even if just one patent proves troublesome enough to one company,
it will pay all your investment and much more.

If Paul Allen paid $10,000 for each patent in 2000, a total of $3M, and one
company settles for $30M, he's made 1000% over ten years, equivalent to an
annual compounded rate of 25%. To beat the bank he only needs to make $6M.

I'd say that was an astute business plan. Sick and twisted maybe, but astute.

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Eh... Is this a spam infection?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 31 2010 @ 06:49 AM EDT
It has multiple appearances on Groklaw.

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Amazon - the computer doesn't recommend
Authored by: jsoulejr on Tuesday, August 31 2010 @ 08:46 AM EDT
When I purchase something someone else purchased, they tell me what the other
person purchased. Is that why Amazon isn't being sued?

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it's patently obvious :)
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 31 2010 @ 08:50 AM EDT
"if you can figure out precisely what this litigation is about from this complaint, what the defendants are alleged to have done wrong, you are doing better than I am. It's unbelievably vague."

It's patently obvious what this litigation is about, Paul Allen invented the Web and every financial transaction on the Web since then is violating his Intellectual Property.

"$someCompany is liable for infringing the `507 patent .. by making and using websites, hardware, and software to categorize, compare, and display segments of a body of information as claimed in the patent"

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Paul Allen's Complaint Against the World, as text
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 31 2010 @ 11:13 AM EDT
Note to Paul Allen:

Paul, Al gore is the Father of the Internet and don't you forget it!

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Why not sue Microsoft...
Authored by: HockeyPuck on Tuesday, August 31 2010 @ 11:42 AM EDT
Follow the money. Since Paul Allen did co-found MS. I'm sure he still has stock.

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Paul Allen foresaw things that turned out to be important
Authored by: DannyB on Tuesday, August 31 2010 @ 02:23 PM EDT
Wow!

So did Star Trek in the 60's!

The one thing that Paul Allen and Star Trek have in common when it comes to
forseeing things that turn out to be important is . . .

Execution.

The thing they have different is that Star Trek did not wait around for someone
to execute an idea, oh, say, iPads, and then sue over it.


---
The price of freedom is eternal litigation.

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Are patents allowed on mathematics
Authored by: GreenDuck on Tuesday, August 31 2010 @ 11:00 PM EDT
Ok, this is a really elementary question.

If you do a google search for this then the answer which
comes back is dozens of anti software patent websites using
the analogy that software is mathematics and 'as we all
know, you can't patent math'.

But I found very few websites that explained why we cannot
patent mathematics, and those that I found (e.g.
http://www.chillingeffects.org/patent/faq.cgi) contained a
sentence like "Mathematics cannot be patented because it is
a natural truth".

Ok, I can work with that... "3 + 2 = 5" is a natural truth
and I'm quite happy with this rule saying I cannot patent
this truth. But what about "3 + 2" - that's an equation,
not a natural truth. Can I patent a really innovative
equation?

Because I think software is more analogous to an equation
than to a proof.

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Anti-software-patents day?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, September 01 2010 @ 06:48 AM EDT
Someone should organize a mass protest by software developers on a particular
day where they send loads of junky applications to their patent office.

Overloading the patent office would demonstrate how developers feel about this
threat to their industry.

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Re: Why Paul Allen's doing this
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, September 01 2010 @ 11:50 AM EDT

``Or force everyone to pay homage to him, bringing him tribute, as the brilliant father of the Internet or something goofy like that? Don't reject that out of hand. Here's a journalist who thinks that is exactly what it's about, attribution. Credit.''

The last time I looked through any of the IETC (sp?) specifications/tech notes/etc., I didn't notice Paul Allen's name. Anywhere. Just what would be his claim to anything Internet-related? This is just another "business methods" patent scam.

I think PJ nailed it by finding the quote from the fellow who said the Interval had gotten blindsided by the Internet. After that, Allen, or someone working for him, probably submitted patent applications to get their foot in the door. To make Interval appear to be the visionary that Allen's always wanted to be. The dates on the patent applications is rather telling. (Is my Allen anti-worship showing?)

One has to hope that there's some tricky reason behind all of this to somehow invalidate all software patents. It's just too bad so many companies are going to have to spend so much money defending this. And too bad that the customers of the products created or sold by those companies are ultimately the ones who will be footing the bill for the defense. Yeah, I know, the corporate lawyers are already being paid but I cannot imagine the cost of this not being passed along to customers. Especially if the companies bring in outside patent specialist counsel. Does anyone think a consumer-oriented company like Best Buy has legal expertise in patents on the payroll?

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RE: Paul Allen's Complaint Against the World, as text
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 03 2010 @ 11:46 PM EDT
He's better off dead.

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