Facebook countersues Yahoo over 10 patents

Facebook countersues Yahoo over 10 patents

Summary: Yahoo attacked Facebook with 10 patents, so Menlo Park has attacked Sunnyvale right back with 10 of its own. Get the popcorn; this is the biggest real-company-versus-patent-troll battle yet.


Update: Here are the 10 patents Facebook is suing Yahoo with

As expected, Facebook today filed its own patent infringement lawsuit against Yahoo. The social networking giant is claiming the online giant infringes on 10 of its patents.

This is a countersuit and will likely lead to some sort of settlement between the two parties. Facebook says Yahoo is infringing on a wide range of its services, including its homepage, content optimization, relevance engine, Flickr photo-sharing service, and advertising throughout the service.

"From the outset, we said we would defend ourselves vigorously against Yahoo's lawsuit, and today we filed our answer as well as counter-claims against Yahoo for infringing ten of Facebook’s patents," Ted Ullyot, General Counsel of Facebook, told AllThingsD. "While we are asserting patent claims of our own, we do so in response to Yahoo’s short-sighted decision to attack one of its partners and prioritize litigation over innovation."

Two months ago, Yahoo threatened Facebook with patent war. Last month, the online giant sued the social networking giant over 10 patents and the technology industry made sure to criticize Yahoo like never before.

Some said Facebook should just buy Yahoo. Others argued Microsoft should come to Facebook's rescue. A recent rumor, however, pointed to Facebook fighting back by itself, and that appears to be exactly what the social networking giant is doing.

When Facebook amended its IPO filing the second time last month, the company briefly mentioned its potential legal battle with Yahoo. This was soon after Menlo Park received a letter from Sunnyvale, but still before Yahoo's lawsuit was filed. Last week, Facebook amended its IPO filing a third time, adding information about Yahoo's lawsuit. Today I can safely say: "Here comes amendment number four!"

Yahoo has thousands of patents while Facebook has 62, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Those are the ones that have been filed in each of the companies' names; both firms have more patents each, but either way Yahoo has significantly more than Facebook.

Facebook has been bulking its patent portfolio, but the biggest purchase came after Yahoo filed its lawsuit. By my last count, the company has 812 patents. This includes 750 patents purchased from IBM, some of which Yahoo is rumored to have been licensing from IBM.

Update: Here are the 10 patents Facebook is suing Yahoo with

See also:

Topics: Legal, Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

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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  • As the saying goes, when you poke a bee hive

    you're gonna' get stung.

    Looks like Yahoo's going to have to buy some bee suits.
    William Farrel
  • more reasons to abolish the patents

    even small players can't innovate freely.
    The Linux Geek
  • Real company?

    If every employer could submit a bill to Facebook for the time employees waste on their site, they'd be broke.
  • Apparently 'we' are convinced that Yahoo's claims are without merit, that

    their patents are, at best, worthless and that using their right to due process in face of negotiation breakdown, relegates them to "troll" status. Yet a company who profits by mining user information and selling it to advertisers is elevated to a "real company'. Really?
  • facebook owes $$$

    Yahoo has always been yahoo.

    Facebook is new, so is their patents.

    So if anything facebook owes yahoo $$$.