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Facebook stocks up on patent artillery

Posted: 27 Mar 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:patent infringement? networking patents?

It seems that Facebook is preparing its artillery for the patent infringement battlefield. The social network company has confirmed that it bought several patents from IBM Corp. but did not disclose any other details regarding the patent acquisitions. IBM was also mum on the topic.

Just several weeks ago, rumors spread that Facebook acquired around 750 software and networking patents from IBM right after Yahoo! accused Facebook of infringing 10 of its patents.

The patent buying spree came as major Internet players battle it out in patent infringement courts and also right after Facebook prepared for an initial public offering.

Yahoo! has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California accusing Facebook of infringing its patent on areas such as advertising, privacy and messaging. It asked the court to stop the alleged infringement activities of Facebook and to assess the damages the brought about by the patent infringements. In the suit, Yahoo! said that Facebook's growth to more than 850 million users "has been based in large part on Facebook's use of Yahoo!'s patented technology."

"We're disappointed that Yahoo!, a longtime business partner of Facebook and a company that has substantially benefited from its association with Facebook, has decided to resort to litigation," a Facebook spokeswoman said.

In the suit, Yahoo! said that Facebook's growth to more than 850 million users "has been based in large part on Facebook's use of Yahoo!'s patented technology."

"For much of the technology upon which Facebook is based, Yahoo! got there first and was therefore granted patents by the United States Patent Office to protect those innovations," Yahoo! said. "Yahoo!'s patents relate to cutting edge innovations in online products, including in messaging, news feed generation, social commenting, advertising display, preventing click fraud and privacy controls," the Internet giant added.

In recent years, Yahoo! has been struggling to build a profitable business and maintain its image as the Internet's leading light.





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