Facebook updates IPO filing with Yahoo patent suit

Summary:Facebook is covering its bases and filling in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about Yahoo's patent lawsuit.

Facebook filed its third amendment to its $5 billion initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

There aren't many changes to speak of -- except that Facebook has included notes about the recent lawsuit that Yahoo handed the social network over patent infringement earlier this month.

Although it's not a secret to anyone at this point, it's a good idea for Facebook to cover its bases anyway -- both with the SEC and investors.

Actually, Facebook hinted at a pending legal battle with Yahoo in Amendment No. 2 to the IPO, filed on March 7.

In that memo, Facebook admitted that it is presently "involved in a number of lawsuits," and that trend is likely to continue as the world's largest social network faces "increasing competition."

Specifically in regards to Yahoo, Facebook received a letter from Yahoo on February 27, which "alleged that a number of our products infringe the claims of 13 of Yahoo’s patents." At the time, Facebook was "still in the process of investigating the allegations contained in the letter."

In Amendment No. 3 filed earlier today, Facebook updated the SEC with the following note:

For example, on March 12, 2012, Yahoo filed a lawsuit against us in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that alleges that a number of our products infringe the claims of ten of Yahoo’s patents that Yahoo claims relate to "advertising," "social networking," "privacy," "customization," and "messaging."

Yahoo is seeking unspecified damages, a damage multiplier for alleged willful infringement, and an injunction. We have not yet filed an answer or asserted any counterclaims with respect to this complaint. We intend to vigorously defend this lawsuit. This litigation is still in its early stages and the final outcome, including our liability, if any, with respect to these claims, is uncertain. If an unfavorable outcome were to occur in this litigation, the impact could be material to our business, financial condition, or results of operations.


Topics: Banking, Legal, Social Enterprise


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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