An analysis of his latest suit suggests Android’s maker has more to fear than Apple does
FOSS Patents‘ Florian Mueller, whose judgment I’ve come to trust when it comes to high-tech intellectual property disputes, makes two interesting points about the patent infringement suit Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen refiled Tuesday against nearly a dozen companies, including Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), eBay (EBAY), Facebook, Yahoo (YHOO), Netflix (NFLX) and AOL (AOL).
- First, that those who originally disparaged Allen’s suit as a patent troll were also too quick to treat its dismissal on Dec. 10 as the end of the story. As Mueller points out in an item posted Wednesday, such suits are often sent back for revision. The fact that a judge asked for more detail is unrelated to the merits of the case.
- Second, the amended suit makes a number of infringement allegations against Google that strike at the heart of the Android operating system. “If any of those infringement assertions against Android is true,” Mueller writes, “this can spell trouble for makers of Android-based devices, and for Android application developers.”
By contrast, the portions of the suit that are about Apple don’t mention iOS — the operating system that runs the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV. They relate, according to Mueller, to the Mac Dashboard and to content recommendations provided by iTunes, the App Store and Apple TV.
Below the fold: Excerpts from the Android portion of the complaint filed Tuesday by Allen’s Interval Licensing.
One last thought. What is it with these ex-Microsoft (MSFT) execs and their patent suits? Nathan Myhrvold, former chief technology officer at Microsoft, has applied for more than 500 patents through a company called Intellectual Ventures that is pursing a business model based on suing companies that refuse to license them.
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]