Tech industry hates on Yahoo for Facebook lawsuit

Summary:Yahoo this week filed a lawsuit against Facebook over 10 of its patents. The technology industry is up in arms: most are not so much with Facebook, but they are definitely against Yahoo.

Last month, Yahoo threatened Facebook with patent war. On Monday, the online giant sued the social networking giant over 10 patents. This week, the technology industry didn't hold back and criticized Yahoo till no end.

Venture capitalist Fred Wilson called the lawsuit a "crock of s***" in a post titled "Yahoo! Crosses The Line." It's not such much that he's on Facebook's side, but he's definitely not on Yahoo's side:

I am not writing this in defense of Facebook. They can and will defend themselves. I am wrting this in outrage at Yahoo! I used to care about that company for some reason. No more. They are dead to me. Dead and gone. I hate them now.

Ex-Yahoo employee Andy Baio wrote an article post by Wired titled "A Patent Lie: How Yahoo Weaponized My Work." Soon after Yahoo acquired his company Upcoming.org in 2005, it asked him to file patents on his software. Baio says Yahoo assured him the patents would only be used defensively but now he realizes Yahoo was essentially "weaponizing" his and other people's work:

Yahoo's lawsuit against Facebook is an insult to the talented engineers who filed patents with the understanding they wouldn't be used for evil. Betraying that trust won’t be forgotten, but I doubt it matters anymore. Nobody I know wants to work for a company like that.

In a post titled "I Hope Yahoo Crushes Facebook in its Patent Suit," investor Mark Cuban actually says he wishes Yahoo will win, but not because the company is correct. He argues a massive verdict against Facebook will result in a reform of U.S. patent law:

Rather than originating in Congress, its going to take a consumer uprising to cause change. What better way to create a consumer uprising than to financially cripple and possibly put out of business the largest social network on the planet ?

If Yahoo were to be awarded 50 Billion Dollars from Facebook, I think consumers may take notice. And don’t think that 50B should be an impossibility.

Oh, and if that wasn't enough for you, take a look at what Yammer announced this week. First, Yammer CEO David Sacks tweeted that he won't hire anyone from Yahoo that doesn't quit in the next two months. Then he followed up with a monetary incentive:

I'm declaring it: Yammer will never hire another former Yahoo employee who doesn't leave in the next 60 days. Who will join me? #stopyahoo I'm pleased to announce a $25,000 signing bonus for any Yahoo employee who joins Yammer in the next 60 days.

Some say Facebook should just buy Yahoo. Others think Microsoft should come to Facebook's rescue. A recent rumor, however, points to Facebook fighting back by itself.

See also:

Topics: Legal, Social Enterprise

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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