Court kills patent suit by Microsoft co-founder

A US district judge has dismissed a patent infringement lawsuit brought by a company linked to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen against a cluster of major corporations.

Court kills patent suit by Microsoft co-founder

The court said the complaint failed to identify specific products or devices.

In August, Interval Licensing filed a patent infringement lawsuit against AOL, eBay, Facebook, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo and Google’s YouTube.

In a suit filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, Interval sought damages and a halt to the alleged violations of the four patents it said were fundamental to e-commerce and search.

Judge Marsha Pechman said in a ruling that plaintiff Interval Licensing “has failed to identify the infringing products or devices with any specificity.”

Judge Pechman said the court and defendants are left to guess what devices infringe on the four patents and also that the case failed to indicate which of the defendants’ products or devices may be at issue.

While dismissing the lawsuit, the court granted Interval Licensing until 28 December to file an amended complaint.

A spokesman for Allen told the Wall Street Journal that Interval planned to file an amended complaint soon, calling the judge’s order a “procedural issue” that would not halt the case.

“The case is staying on track,” the spokesman told the paper.

Interval Licensing could not immediately be reached for comment outside regular US business hours.

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