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A Facebook v Yahoo ‘I Told You So’

Last month, GametimeIP mentioned that: “Facebook, however, is not a typical defendant.  Fully aware that their “organic” patent portfolio poses no real threat to Yahoo!, Facebook has the means and the know-how to go forth and find something that is.”

Their counterclaim against Yahoo! asserts 10 patents, 8 of which were acquired from other companies (very recently, in some cases).  According to Janal Kalis of Schwegman Lundberg, the acquired patents come from Right Point (6,288,717); Philips Electronics (6,216,133 and 6,411,949); the University of New York (6,236,978; 7,603,331; and 8,103,611); and Cheah, apparently an inventor-owned IP holding company, (8,005,896 and 8,150,913).



2 thoughts on “A Facebook v Yahoo ‘I Told You So’

  1. As you are probably aware, only two of the ten asserted Facebook patents were originally assigned to Facebook. This is unsurprising, and further reflects Facebook’s patchwork patent portfolio. More than 65% of its US patents were originally issued to another entity (not even counting its recent 750 patent acquisition from IBM), and the company itself has applied for over 400 patents in the past 18 months. Facebook’s actions are indicative of a company desperate to retroactively protect its technologies.

    What you may not have known is that there are over 30,000 patents with similar claims to the asserted Facebook patents, and of these, 3,800 predate the asserted patents. And this number is only if we are looking at Facebook’s patents! If we look at both the Yahoo! and Facebook patents-in-suit, this number would double, if not triple.

    This could be unfortunate for either company, but it especially reflects negatively on the United States Patent and Trademark Office. If USPTO examiners had taken into account these 3,800 patents, the asserted patents from both companies may not have been issued, and the current lawsuits between Facebook and Yahoo! would not have occurred. As a result, Yahoo!’s litigation expenses would be free to go towards the salaries of its 2,000 soon-to-be-laid-off employees. We have done analysis of both lawsuits of the case. Check them out at ….

    Posted by Patently Obvious | April 9, 2012, 10:47 am
  2. This patent infringement action will likely take a toll on both Facebook and Yahoo; it’s unfortunate to see the patent wars spill over into the social media sphere. Interestingly, today I read an item stating that Twitter has vowed not to join in the patent wars. Which is intriguing, because compared to Facebook and Yahoo, Twitter is the only company that’s not quickly sliding into irrelevance. Maybe sometimes integrity does count for something, after all.

    Posted by patent litigation | April 20, 2012, 11:19 am

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