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Paul Allen's lawsuit against Apple dismissed

The suit filed against Apple (and others) by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen was dismissed as being too vague on Friday. According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman has given Allen's company, Interval Licensing LLC (the plaintiff in the case), until December 28 to file an amended complaint. "The allegations in the complaint are spartan," wrote Judge Pechman. Allen called the judge's order a "procedural issue" through a spokesperson.

Allen's suit, filed in August of 2010, identifies four specific patents. Each appears to be a huge part of how contemporary e-commerce and internet search tools work. For example, one addresses how websites suggest products based upon customers' recent searches. Another lets those reading a news story quickly find related stores, while the two others let ads and news items, among other things, flash on a computer screen adjacent to what the user is directly looking at. No specific dollar amount was identified.

Allen's suit names Apple, Ebay, Facebook, Netflix and Aol among others (Note: TUAW is owned by Aol). Apple joined Facebook, Yahoo! and others in formal opposition to the suit in October.

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