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Monday, May 7, 2012

Yahoo! vs. Facebook Patent Battle Escalates Even Further

Posted by @ 1:21 pm

The animosity between Yahoo! and Facebook is picking up pace once again as Yahoo! adds two more infringement claims against Facebook taking the total to 12.

These claims come just when the social networking giant is busy with its initial public offering slated for release later this month.

For those who don’t know, about a month back Yahoo! filed a law suit in a San Jose Federal District Court accussing Facebook of knowingly infringing ten of Yahoo’s patents. This lawsuit comes after Yahoo! gave Facebook a final warning to pay a licensing fee to use the technology stolen from Yahoo!. Facebook did not pay much heed to Yahoo’s claim and instead filed a counter lawsuit claiming that it was Yahoo! who has infringed 10 of their patents. Wow, talk about a soap opera!

In its latest petition, Yahoo! has denied any violation of the patents Facebook has cited in its suit and argues that the social networking site is infringing on 2 more of their patents.

Backing its claim with relevant paper work Yahoo! said that

Facebook lacks a good faith basis for most, if not all, of its counterclaims, particularly those patents that it purchased from others.

Yahoo! has reportedly demanded an undisclosed amount of monetary compensation for the use their web technologies in areas ranging from social networking to instant messaging to advertising and privacy.
The 2 patents that are being contested by Yahoo! are “System and Method to Determine Validity of and Interaction on a Network” and the “System and Method Allowing Advertisers to Manage Search Listings in Pay for Placement Search System Using Grouping”, which the Yahoo! alleges is being violated by Facebook Ads.

In an e-mailed statement from Yahoo!, the company said:

Today’s filing underscores the breadth of Facebook’s violation of Yahoo!’s intellectual property. As we have stated previously, Yahoo!’s technologies are the foundation of our business that engages over 700 million monthly unique visitors and represent the spirit of innovation upon which Yahoo! is built. We intend to vigorously protect these technologies for our customers and shareholders.

Responding to Yahoo!’s claims, Facebook released a statement saying:

We remain perplexed by Yahoo!’s erratic actions. We disagree with these latest claims and we will continue to defend ourselves vigorously.

Many in the know in Silicon Valley perceive Yahoo!’s decision to sue Facebook as a desperate attempt to grab its stake in the IPO action. But whatever it is, it sure makes for a juicey news saga.

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