I like Paul Allen because of Portland Blazer, Space One and the picture above. Overall, he just have a innovative way to spend his money. Well, he just file a massive patent lawsuit against all the big boys in tech sectors.
Here are his claims:

Allen’s Patent Trove: A Look at the Claims

U.S. PATENT NO. 6,263,507:

Allows a site to offer suggestions to consumers for items related to what they’re currently viewing, or related to online activities of others in the case of social-networking sites. (Accused violators: AOL, Apple, eBay, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo, YouTube)

U.S. PATENT NO. 6,034,652, U.S. PATENT NO. 6,788,314:

Enables ads, stock quotes, news updates or video images to flash on a computer screen, peripherally to a user’s main activity. (AOL, Apple, Google, Yahoo)

U.S. PATENT NO. 6,757,682:

Allows readers of a news story to quickly locate stories related to a particular subject, among other things. (AOL, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo, YouTube)

If you read these, you know everyone is using all these claims. This is almost like the PCR patent  war. This is going to be interesting. That just make Paul Allen cooler.

The main thing is that Paul have to prove that the side bar etc actually lead to profit since patent only protect you from making profit.

If you think biotech/pharma IP is hard to control, software/program is far worse. That’s is why EU don’t even have patent for that. Good LUCK Paul.