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US Supreme Court rejects Paul Allen's interval licensing patent appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a bid by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen to revive several patent claims against AOL, Apple, Google, and Yahoo over software pop-up notifications.

The Supreme Court left in place a September 2014 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington. The court mostly upheld a decision by a district court judge who had ruled that the defendants had not infringed upon Interval's patents.


Paul Allen
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Paul Allen

The patents, held by Allen's Interval Licensing, relate to the pop-ups that computer and smartphone users regularly see.

Interval Licensing is the patent-licensing arm of a Silicon Valley research entity that Allen financed, Interval Research Corp, which shut down in 2000.

Interval Licensing sued the tech companies in 2010, accusing them of infringing upon four of its patents, although only two became the subject of the appeal. It said they infringed upon the patents through products and software that use pop-up notifications, court documents said.

Allen and partner David Liddle founded Interval Research in 1992. It employed more than 110 scientists and engineers and was granted 300 patents during its existence, according to court documents.

AOL is part of Verizon Communications.

The case is Interval Licensing v. AOL Inc, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 14-1362.