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Facebook Countersues Yahoo: The Patent Wars Are Here

Facebook Countersues Yahoo: The Patent Wars Are Here

 

Yahoo sued Facebook in mid-March, claiming that Facebook’s entire social networking model is based on social networking technology first patented by Yahoo. Now Facebook is returning the favor and suing Yahoo. In counterclaims filed in federal count in San Francisco today, Facebook accuses Yahoo of infringing on 10 patents via its home page and Flickr photo-sharing service and also through ads found throughout Yahoo’s site on finance, sports, games and shopping services..

Facebook’s countersuit was no surprise, says CNET, as it is “virtually the only way Facebook would have any leveraging power to negotiate a settlement.” In its suit, Facebook alleges that it is the party who has suffered damages and requests that the court award it damages while dismissing Yahoo’s suit.

In its suit against Facebook, Yahoo claimed that Facebook’s practice of targeting ads to users based on their interests was something that Yahoo did first. Yahoo also claimed that Facebook’s social media software infringes its patents on information sharing and privacy. Yahoo is seeking triple damages as well as an injunction against the patents.

While Yahoo owns the most popular portal, it has struggled in the face of Google’s and Facebook’s ascendancy — tomorrow on April 4, Yahoo is expected to announce more layoffs. Google and Facebook have taken users and ad dollars from Yahoo; in February, Facebook filed for an initial public offering and could be valued at $75 billion to $100 billion. Bloomberg notes that, last year, Yahoo lost its top spot in the U.S. market for display advertising to Facebook.

In an email in Bloomberg, Ted Ullyot, Facebook’s general counsel, said that

“While we are asserting patent claims of our own, we do so in response to Yahoo’s shortsighted decision to attack one of its partners and prioritize litigation over innovation.”

While intellectual property experts have seen Yahoo’s suit as just one tech company using the tools — in this case, patents — at its disposal to ensure its survival, Tech Crunch had earlier described Yahoo’s lawsuit as “dastardly, opportunistic, desperate, and frankly anti-Internet.” Are tech companies wasting their time and energy in filing such lawsuits about who was first to create what, rather than working together and devoting themselves to creating more powerful software and other tools to help users make the most of the internet?

 

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17 comments

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11:07AM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

+ they waste the tax payers' money by encumbering the courts with their counter-productive and frivolous lawsuits

9:49PM PDT on Apr 6, 2012

I`m ez just send MONEY

2:02PM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

Thanks for the info!

6:18PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

at least YAHOO gave me a choice [their famous checklist] to allow/permit sponsors to aim advertisements at me OR NOT... Facebook does NOT, and worse, FB has never even aimed the right kind of ads at me according to ANY of my interests listed on my profile... that's pathetic... and it isolates our profile according to our ISP DNS... so i only see 'local' junk ads... that totally disinterest me.

3:02PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

there not wasting their time - if i come up with a brilliant new social-website, and sum1 else, say myspace comes behind me and copies it, and labels it "Myspace 2" - then I would have to sue them over the rights. Its just come down to who did it 1st yes, but u still gotta give credit to the original owners and people who developed the idea.

2:14PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

I will not use any social networking system....the government prowls through them and collects your personal information. I do not like stealing of my information. Government and business does not need my information for them to make money or terrorist connections. I am a American citizen who is concerned about the destruction of my Preamble, Constitution, or Bill of Rights.

2:05PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

I will not use any social networking system....the government prowls through them and collects your personal information. I do not like stealing of my information. Government and business does not need my information for them to make money or terrorist connections. I am a American citizen who is concerned about the destruction of my Preamble, Constitution, or Bill of Rights.

1:26PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

Facebook sucks! I miss yahoo groups and sill use YIM most of all though I miss myspace groups most of all. FaceBook is sorry replacement for myspace if they hadn't been taken over by spammers but FB will get that soon enough. I like google as well but the only reason I am on FB because everyone else was suckered into it so it was either that or be left in the dust. FB stole all there stuff since the beginning if you ever actually seen the movie about how the started you would know that. (social network)

12:14PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

They are not only wasting THEIR time and energy; they are also wasting MY time and energy. And everybody else's, too.

But while the subject is at hand, although Facebook isn't perfect, Yahoo frankly stinks. Why would ANYBODY have based anything on Yahoo?

10:09AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

I don't trust Facebook enough to ever consider a membership, and I detest Google's recent changes to their privacy policies. I find Yahoo more useful for now and plan to stay with it. I consider the whole lawsuit situation rather fraudulent and think the lawyers should be kicked out and that silliness stopped. 'Simplified' social sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and LiveJournal are rife with security problems to a much greater extent than Google or Yahoo.

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