In the annals of tech history, Paul Allen and Steve Wozniak will likely be remembered as the forgotten co-founders. Each has done a bit to reinvent themselves recently. Allen wrote a memoir called “Idea Man.” Wozniak appeared on Dancing with the Stars. But not all is happy among the sidekicks of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. The Woz thinks Allen is doing “that patent troll thing.”
During remarks at the Embedded Systems Conference in Silicon Valley, Wozniak reportedly said that Allen should focus more of his attention on developing products that make a “new future for the world” rather than getting “in bed with the lawyers,” according to a report in The Register.
What’s interesting about the remarks is that they appear to be a reversal from what the Woz said at the time of Allen’s patent lawsuit against the likes of Apple, Google, Facebook and others. At the time of the lawsuit last summer, Woz told Bloomberg News that Allen is just representing original investors.
“I am not at all against the idea of patent trolls because I have had friends who just got forced into bankruptcy by bigger people that had more money,” said Woz. “… Even if Paul Allen makes a fortune off of it, I think he had the insight to recognize which patents were valuable.”
Weird. Well, something has obviously gotten under the skin of the Woz, since The Register reports that the Apple co-founder blew off an appearance by Allen at the Computer History Museum.
“And I decided at the last minute not to go, because I remembered he’s suing all these companies like Apple and Google – but he’s not suing Microsoft – because he bought all these patents,” he said.
Previously on GeekWire: Court grapples with ‘cast of thousands’ in Paul Allen suit vs. Google, Apple and others