Slog tipper Vlad alerts us to a very interesting new lawsuit:

A firm run by Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen is suing Apple Inc., Google Inc. and 9 other companies alleging they are violating patents developed at a Silicon Valley lab Mr. Allen financed more than a decade ago.

Mr. Allen, 57, Friday through his firm Interval Licensing LLC filed suit in federal court in Seattle asserting the companies are using technology from his laboratory. Named in the suit, along with Apple and Google, are AOL Inc., eBay Inc., Facebook Inc., Netflix Inc., Office Depot Inc., OfficeMax Inc., Staples Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Google's YouTube subsidiary.

The suit doesn't name Microsoft, Amazon.com Inc. or other technology firms in Seattle where Mr. Allen is based. The suit doesn't estimate a damage amount.

The suit alleges violation of four patents that mostly have to do with internet recommendation technology. This could get ugly.