Paul Allen Sues Google and Apple, Other High-Profile Companies

When it comes to patents, making sure that yours are kept up to date, and that other companies aren't using the same technology that you incorporated in them is a prime directive. Even patents that aren't necessarily as high-profile as some others, they still need to be defended. And that's exactly what Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder, is doing. In a new report that came to the surface today, it looks like Allen is suing Google, Apple, and a slew of other high-profile companies in a patent dispute.

While none of the companies named in the suit were able to be reached for comment, it seems that Allen is going for some unknown amount in damages. As far as the patents go, it looks like four are primarily named. They are integral to the way e-commerce works, and even more specifically, search tools. Primarily, one patent focus on the way that sites suggest new and updated items to a search result. While another, one that we see used every day on sites all around the Internet, focuses on the way that "related stories" are found, based on a particular story being search, or read at any given time.

A spokesperson for Allen says that this is not only important to him, personally, but to the technology involved, and to the researchers who created the technology being used. As for the other companies being named in the suit? You may have heard of a few of them: eBay, Facebook, YouTube (a subsidiary of Google), AOL, and Netflix. There's no telling where this will go from here, but we're sure this will get even more interesting soon enough.

[via TUAW]