updated 07:40 pm EDT, Wed July 6, 2011
Apple, Google want Interval patents reviewed first
Apple and Google in a court filing on Wednesday argued that a freeze on Interval's lawsuit should continue. The two wanted no further developments until the USPTO determined whether or not Interval's patents were completely original or if some or all of the patents might have been preceded by earlier works. Judge Pechman had been concerned that the definition of the patents, if upheld, could change the nature of any trial.
Interval has objected to any such wait from the start but hasn't had much success so far. Judge Pechman contended that, as a non-contributing entity, Interval wasn't competing against the companies it was suing, which also involve Facebook, Netflix, YouTube and other staples of the Internet. A handful of the defendants' USPTO objections had been rejected.
Microsoft co-foudner Paul Allen had started Interval as a research firm in 1992 but, after failing to get enough practical output to stay afloat, flipped it over from its closure in 2000 into a patent licensing firm with no actual productive business.
Allen and Interval have insisted that most of the major companies are profiting off of its work and has pointed to funding supplied to Google as proof of its influence. Many have pointed out, however, that Interval as a licensing outfit sat on its patent claims for a decade despite at least some of the supposed violations having taken place much sooner. [via Bloomberg]