Yahoo sues Facebook for patent infringement

Summary:Facebook is being sued by Yahoo over patent infringement claims, which could have a devastating effect on the social network's revenue streams.

If you thought the patent war was limited to just Apple vs. everyone else --- you would be wrong.

Yahoo is suing Facebook over ten patents that include "methods and systems" for online advertising, according to the complaint, which was filed in San Jose, California. The court filings also notes personalised web pages and messaging, two key products within the Facebook experience.

Yahoo said in a statement, via AllThingsD:

"Yahoo! has invested substantial resources in research and development through the years, which has resulted in numerous patented inventions of technology that other companies have licensed. These technologies are the foundation of our business that engages over 700 million monthly unique visitors and represent the spirit of innovation upon which Yahoo! is built.

Unfortunately, the matter with Facebook remains unresolved and we are compelled to seek redress in federal court. We are confident that we will prevail.”

The filing also hits at the heart of the social network's business, by stating: ""Without Yahoo!'s achievements, websites such as Facebook would not enjoy repeat visitors or substantial advertising revenue."

Facebook has responded with a statement:

"We’re disappointed that Yahoo’s effort to engage with us was limited to a few short phone calls and that we continue to learn of new developments about a long-time partner through the press. We will defend ourselves vigorously against these puzzling actions."

The once-Internet giant threatened the world's social network with a suit late last month. It was thought that Facebook could be infringing up to as many as 20 Yahoo-owned patents.
This move by Yahoo will be criticised as a move to claw back the company from the brink. The company has been in demise in recent years. The company recently acquired Scott Thompson as its new chief executive, headhunted from payments giant PayPal.

Yahoo reported Q4 revenue of $1.17 billion, falling short by analysts' expectations of $1.19 billion. Facebook is awaiting listing on the stock market after it filed its initial public offering papers earlier this year. Facebook is estimated to be worth $82 billion.

More soon.

Related:

Topics: Social Enterprise

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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