Yahoo Sues Facebook Over Patents

SUNNYVALE (CBS/AP) – Yahoo is filing a lawsuit against Facebook over patents, following through on a threat it made last month.

Yahoo Inc. said in a court filing Monday that Facebook has infringed 10 of its patents covering advertising, privacy controls and social networking.

Yahoo threatened to sue Facebook last month, insisting that the social network license its patents.

Facebook has said it is disappointed in Yahoo and pledges to defend itself vigorously against what it calls “puzzling actions.”

The patent claims could cast a spotlight on Facebook’s vulnerabilities as the company tries to complete an initial public offering of stock this spring. At the end of 2011, only 56 U.S. patents had been issued to Facebook. That’s a relatively small number compared with other big tech companies.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Steve Hansen (Hansen IP Law PLLC)

    If you are interested in how this case may play out, today we posted a blog at which discusses a key issue that may arise in the case: whether the patents cover “statutory subject matter.” This concerns whether the patents cover the type of thing that can be patented, regardless of how new it is. The law is very muddy in this area, but it may provide fertile ground for Facebook to attack. It may also present an opportunity for the courts to do a better job of clarifying what can and cannot be patented.

  • Facebook Files Patent Countersuit Against Yahoo « CBS San Francisco

    […] lawsuit Tuesday came just weeks after Yahoo claimed that Facebook violated 10 patents covering advertising, privacy controls and social […]

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