Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen surprised many in the tech industry last summer when he sued some of the biggest names in technology — including Google, Apple, Facebook and eBay — for patent infringement. But Allen isn’t the only tech entrepreneur who feels jilted. Now, comes a suit brought by Priceline founder Jay Walker against more than 100 companies. Unlike Allen’s suit, Walker also is going after two big names in Seattle: Amazon.com and Microsoft.
“A number of great companies can trace their genesis to technology that was first developed at Walker Digital in the mid-to-late 1990s,” Walker said in a press release announcing the 15 separate suits. “We are proud of our inventions and the number of innovative businesses and activities founded on these inventions. These businesses have not only changed the way people around the world live, work, travel and interact socially and commercially, but also have given rise to numerous American jobs.”
Walker isn’t being too shy about his achievements. The press release cites a Forbes story which labeled him an “Edison for a New Age.”
We liked PaidContent’s headline — “Jay Walker Goes Nuclear: Priceline Founder Sues More than 100 Companies — and the subsequent lead on the story in which reporter Joe Mullin asks if Jay Walker is somehow jealous of Paul Allen.
Allen’s suit is still ongoing, and it does have several parallels to Walker’s litigation. Both men issued press releases on their respective suits, and both noted that they were at the forefront of major technical change in the 1990s. In Walker’s case, he’s making claims to technologies in e-commerce, gaming, publishing, retailing, education and other industries.
Allen, for his part, said through a spokesman at the time that his Interval Research unit was “an early, ground-breaking contributor to the development of the Internet economy.”
But Allen in’t taking aim at as many companies as walker. Just 11 defendants are named in Allen’s suit: AOL, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo, and YouTube.