New York: A company owned by billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has slapped lawsuit against Google, Apple, Facebook and eight other American technology majors for patent infringement.
Interval Licensing Llc has sued these entities for violating patents, most of which are related to a technology that displays information about products to users on the screen.
The company has alleged patent violations against Google, Apple, Facebook, AOL, eBay, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo! and YouTube.
The lawsuit, which alleges infringement of four patents, was filed with a Seattle Federal Court on Friday.
According to the complaint, companies such as Apple and AOL are liable for infringing a particular patent “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”.
Allen co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975.
As per the lawsuit, the 11 entities infringed patents that originally belonged to Interval Research Corp. It was co-founded by Allen in 1992 for carrying out R&D activities in the areas of information systems, communications, and computer science.
Interval Research had about 300 patents. After the firm was closed down in 2000, the patents held by the company were transferred to Allen-owned Interval Licensing.