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Apple joins Facebook, Google, others to combat Paul Allen's charges


Back in August, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen formally sued 11 tech companies, including Apple, over the use of technologies for which he holds the patents. Now, Apple has joined Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and others in opposing the suit.

Google initially filed a motion to dismiss the claims on October 18th, stating that Allen's company, Interval Research (which ceased operation in 2000), had failed to explain exactly how Google had supposedly violated its patents. Additionally, Google claims that Interval is lumping all 11 defendants together without demonstrating any "coordinated action."

Apple joined Google and others on October 21st with its own filing, stating, "Interval has sued eleven major corporations and made the same bald assertions that each defendant infringes 197 claims in four patents. As the U.S. Supreme Court noted in Twombly, it is in this type of situation in which courts should use their 'power to insist upon some specificity in pleading before allowing a potentially massive factual controversy to proceed."

In other words, spill the goods or move on.

Allen's suit identifies four specific patents, including one that determines how websites suggest products based upon customers' recent searches, and another that lets users reading a news story quickly find related stores.

We'll have more on this story as it develops.

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