The Microsoft co-founder has been actively suing the following companies for a while now: Apple, Google, Facebook, eBay, AOL, Netflix, Yahoo, Google’s YouTube, OfficeMax, Office Depot and Staples. He says that they’re all infringing on technology patents he acquired long ago. The case was rejected by a federal judge on December 10th for being too vague but Allen was given until the 28th to beef up his case. Apparently he made it in just under the wire with exhibits detailing just how a lot of these companies stole his idea. For instance, when Apple sees what artists you’re looking at on iTunes and then offers suggestions for similar artists, Allen says he thought of that first. It’s doubtful that Allen, who is still one of the richest people in the world, will shut down any of these technologies, but he may make yet more money. As a fan of the Paul Allen-owned Seattle Seahawks, I hope he spends his settlement on getting the team an actual defense.
Also: wait, OFFICE MAX?
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.