Remember Paul Allen folks? Yeah, that co-founder of Microsoft most people only know as a philanthropist. Well Paul, big-boy Bill Gates really did pull one over you didn’t he.
We know that guy as an industrialist, monopolist, a genius, that-guy-who-actually-like-Steve-Balmer, richest man alive, innovator, geek, nerd, GOD who can take away over 90% of the world’s computers in one swipe, and of course a philanthropist.
So in latest news about Paulie (his friends call him that, or not), we have reports talking about him filing suits for not one, not even two or three, but nine frickin’ companies over patent violations.
Working through his current firm, Interval Licensing LLC, Allen is suing Apple, AOL, Facebook, eBay, Netflix, Office Depot, Google, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo, and our much beloved Youtube (the very same site that showed us some love by enabling the spread of the much-dreaded ‘Cat Bin Lady’).
The claims reportedly involve some four separate patents, whose context while remains unclear, has something to do with how these companies do business.
For example, one patent covers how a site makes suggestions to readers who are already viewing an article, while another talks about creating related articles that are delivered while reading news.
What can we except that – what the hell is up with the patents office these days! Aside from being far too vast in what they could potentially encompass, issuing patents for something as genetic as delivering recommendations sounds like the work of an obsolete authority.
And of course coming back to Mr. Paul Allen, who is already amongst the richest men in the world – he doesn’t seem all that interested to quote a price on the patent lawsuit.
But then who cares right? With over $13 billion to spend, Allen’s money is not only going to outlive him, it will probably get to see an age where Windows isn’t running on every system. Google’s Chrome OS would be the dominant player in the market, and we would have had a good ten years behind thinking about how awesome Microsoft was with Windows. It allowed recommendations to display on our screens in the first place, unlike Google, which will eventually grow big enough to just declare the entire world as their very own “sandbox”.