∞ Microsoft co-founder sues Apple, Google, Facebook, others

Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, is taking on Silicon Valley in a patent lawsuit filed last week. The lawsuit targets many of today’s best known technology companies including Google, Facebook, eBay, Apple, Yahoo, AOL, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples and YouTube, which is owned by Google, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The patents Allen is suing over describe tasks like allowing “a site to offer suggestions to consumers for items related to what they’re currently viewing.” Another one describes a technology that “enables ads, stock quotes, news updates or video images to flash on a computer screen, peripherally to a user’s main activity.”

A third patent describes a process that “allows readers of a news story to quickly locate stories related to a particular subject, among other things.”

Allen received the patents while funding Interval Research Corp. during the Internet heyday about a decade ago. Allen sunk $100 million into the company before closing the doors.

It is interesting to note that Microsoft was not named in the lawsuit.