20100829

Paul Allen v. Rest Of The Web : NTP Redux ?

Paul Allen's Interval Licensing is suing a few Microsoft foes : AOL, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo, YouTube.

The charges : patent infringement regarding 4 patents owned by Interval Licensing - as the name suggests, an empty shell meant to make as many bucks as possible out of
Interval Research "creations".

In this case, the patents protect : a "Browser (...) With Particular Application to Browsing Information Represented By Audiovisual Data", an "Attention Manager", and a system to "Alert(...) Users to Items of Current Interest".

Now this episode definitely became an "item of current interest" in a sector still shaken by the NTP/RIM battle over patents.

What puzzles me is to see Paul Allen, who only left the board of Microsoft in 2000, claim a leadership in browsers : Microsoft copied all major user interface disruptions from Apple, starting with the "windows" concept, and the company didn't believe in the internet, joining the bandwagon very late, starting the Internet Explorer project two years after Mosaic was created. Why not sue Mosaic then ? And IE for exploiting it ?

You may win your lawsuit, just like NTP did. But do you want to go down in history for that last caricature of Microsoftian Evilness ?

You'd better stick to rock'n roll, Paulie.

mot-bile 2010



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