In what could turn into a patent battle of epic proportions, Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen has sued a who’s who of Internet giants for patent infringement.  The suit, filed by Allen’s Interval Licensing, which names Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, YouTube, AOL and eBay, among others, cites core Internet technology developed in the 90’s by another Allen project, the now defunct technology company, Interval Research, LLC.  Microsoft is, of course, conspicuously absent from the suit which can be read here.

Because the patents are alleged to cover mainstay Internet technologies including features related to search engine operation, web based multi-media display, and pop up elements, some of the named defendants have already vowed to fight the allegations and mount a vigorous defense. The fight will no doubt be one for the ages and one to watch.

Allen, who is often in the media shadows compared to his Microsoft Co-founder Bill Gates, will no doubt garner the spotlight with this bold legal action that will likely turn most of Silicon Valley against him.  Indeed, many are already likening Allen to a myriad of so-called “Patent Trolls,” companies that do not make or sell anything, but merely hold patents to use as weapons.

Read more about this case here