Billionaire Paul Allen has made major forays into cable television and sports teams since leaving Microsoft Corp. more than two decades ago. Now he's adding another pursuit: patent litigation.

Mr. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, on Friday sued Apple Inc., Google Inc. and nine other companies asserting they are using technology developed about a decade ago at his now-defunct Silicon Valley laboratory. Mr. Allen, a pioneer of computer software, didn't develop any of the technology himself but owns the patents.

"This lawsuit against some of America's most innovative companies reflects an unfortunate trend of people trying to compete in the courtroom instead of the marketplace," a Google spokesman said.

A spokesman for Facebook Inc., which was also named in the suit, said: "We believe this suit is completely without merit and we will fight it vigorously." EBay Inc. said it was reviewing the complaint and intends to defend itself. Other defendants declined to comment or weren't immediately available.

Full story: WSJ