Here are the 10 patents Facebook is suing Yahoo with

Here are the 10 patents Facebook is suing Yahoo with

Summary: Facebook has countersued Yahoo with 10 of its own patents. Two of them are very similar, and the last one was granted today, after which Facebook immediately filed its lawsuit.

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Facebook today countersued Yahoo with its own patent infringement lawsuit. The social networking giant is claiming the online giant infringes on 10 of its patents. So, what are the 10 little soldiers that Facebook is using to attack Yahoo with?

Here they are:

U.S. Patent No. 7,827,208 — “Generating a feed of stories personalized for members of a social network” – Filed on August 11, 2006, and granted November 2, 2010.

Abstract:

Systems and methods for generating dynamic relationship-based content personalized for members of a web-based social network are provided. At least one action of one or more members of a web-based social network is associated with relationship data for the one or more members to produce consolidated data. One or more elements associated with the consolidated data is identified and used to aggregate the consolidated data. Further exemplary methods comprise weighting by affinity the aggregated consolidated data to generate dynamic relationship-based content personalized for the members of the web-based social network.

In other words, this patent covers a method of generating a personalized story on a social network based on the user's actions as well as the actions of other users. Facebook claims Yahoo's Flickr features (Photostream, Recent Activity and Groups Activity) infringe on this patent.

U.S. Patent No. 7,945,653 — “Tagging digital media” – Filed on October 11, 2006, and granted May 17, 2011.

Abstract:

A method for tagging digital media is described. The method includes selecting a digital media and selecting region within the digital media. The method may further include associating a person or entity with the selected region and sending a notification of the association the person or entity or a different person or entity. The method may further include sending advertising with the notification.

In other words, this patent covers a method of allowing a user to reject his or her identification in digital media posted by another user. Facebook claims Yahoo's Flickr feature People in Photos infringes on this patent. Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is the first listed inventor.

U.S. Patent No. 6,288,717 — “Headline posting algorithm” – Filed on May 19, 1999, and granted September 11, 2001.

Abstract:

The program uses the topic interest flags to determine which articles and other customizable elements of the database are shown on a particular member's home page. The headline posting algorithm first checks the flags on every available item against the member's interests, recorded in his or her user profile, then weighs the importance, rarity and significance of each match it has found, and finally displays the three highest-scoring items on the member's home page in descending order of value.

In other words, this patent covers a method of providing a user with selected, ranked, and posted topics of interest on their page based on his or her identified interests. Facebook claims that Yahoo's home page infringes on this patent. Facebook was not the first to be assigned this one, but it was re-assigned to the company very recently: on March 30, 2012.

U.S. Patent No. 6,216,133 — “Method for enabling a user to fetch a specific information item from a set of information items, and a system for carrying out such a method” – Filed on May 30, 1996, and granted April 10, 2001.

Abstract:

A user of a system comprising a large set of information items, for example a multimedia database, is assisted by an agent in searching the set. The agent has a given affinity for the information items and selects a specific information item from the set in conformity with said affinity. On the basis of the interactions between the user and the system an image is formed of the affinity of the user for the information items. The agent utilizes this image, in addition to its own affinity, for the selection of a specific information item. A major application of the invention concerns a system in which the information items are presented as objects in a space and in which the agent guides the user through the space and proposes a specific object to the user.

In other words, this patent covers a method of fetching information based on a user's past interaction patterns. Facebook claims that multiple Yahoo services infringe on this patent. This one was originally filed by Philips Corp. and was reassigned to Facebook in December 2011.

U.S. Patent No. 6,411,949 — “Customizing database information for presentation with media selections” – Filed on August 12, 1999, and granted June 25, 2002.

Abstract:

Enhanced content data is supplied in association with a media selection. The enhanced content data is customized responsive to a user profile. The uncustomized enhanced content is stored as a data structure having levels of nodes. Each node within a given level represents an alternative version of a shared enhanced content sub-topic. A processor chooses between nodes within the levels and assembles the chosen nodes to produce the customized enhanced content data.

In other words, this patent covers a system for enhancing content by selecting and supplying media to a user based on the user's profile or preferences. Facebook claims that multiple Yahoo services infringe on this patent. This one was originally filed by Philips Corp. and was reassigned to Facebook in December 2011.

U.S. Patent No. 6,236,978 — “ System and method for dynamic profiling of users in one-to-one applications” – Filed on November 14, 1997, and granted May 22, 2001.

Abstract:

A system and method for generating a user profile for a user based on a static profile and a dynamic profile of the user. The static profile includes factual user information. The dynamic profile includes dynamic rules which correspond to transactional information of the user. The method and system compresses the dynamic rules into aggregated rules so that the user can view a comparatively small number of the aggregated rules and select the desired rules from the aggregated rules based on user-desired criteria. The dynamic rules associated with the particular user are matched to the selected desired aggregated rules to generate the dynamic profile. The static and dynamic profile are then combined to form the user profile. The system and method can be used in conjunction with a Personal Shopping Assistant system and a Personal Intelligent Digital Assistant system.

In other words, this patent covers the creation of a user profile based on static factual information (such as age and sex) for the user and dynamic information based on transactions by the user (such as interests and interactions). Facebook claims that multiple Yahoo services infringe on this patent.

U.S. Patent No. 7,603,331 — “ System and method for dynamic profiling of users in one-to-one applications and for validating user rules” – Filed on March 7, 2005, and granted October 13, 2009.

Abstract:

A system and method for generating and validating a user profile (25) for a user based on a static profile (10) and a dynamic profile (15) of the user. The method and system compresses the dynamic rules (15) into aggregated rules so that the user can view a comparatively small number of the aggregated rules and select the desired rules from the aggregated rules based on user desired criteria. The method and system validates user rules (60) using a processing device, which are retrieved from a storage device. The user rules are separated into at least one subset of a user set. Then, it is determined if a particular rule of the at least one subset is one of acceptable, unacceptable and undecided based on a defined criteria (415). If the particular rules of the at least one subset are acceptable, the particular rules of the at least one subset are provided (e.g. assigned) to a corresponding user (435).

In other words, this patent covers a method of providing a user with dynamic recommendations based on the user's historical data. Facebook claims that multiple Yahoo services infringe on this patent.

U.S. Patent No. 8,103,611 — “ Architectures, systems, apparatus, methods, and computer-readable medium for providing recommendations to users and applications using multidimensional data” – Filed on September 3, 2009, and granted January 24, 2012.

Abstract:

Exemplary non-transitory computer-readable medium, method and system for providing at least one recommendation to users and applications using multidimensional data. The multidimensional data can define a multidimensional space defined by a Cartesian product of the dimensions. The multidimensional space can have at least three dimensions, and each of the dimensions can be capable of (i) providing variable information, and (ii) having a type that is different from a type of another one of the dimensions. The exemplary non-transitory computer-readable medium, method and system can retrieve information from data associated with the multidimensional space. Further, the exemplary non-transitory computer-readable medium, method and system can generate the at least one recommendation based on the retrieved information. Further, at least one of the dimensions can include profiles.

In other words, this patent covers providing a user with a recommendation based on multidimensional data, using the Cartesian product of the dimensions. Facebook claims that multiple Yahoo services infringe on this patent.

U.S. Patent No. 8,005,896 — “System for controlled distribution of user profiles over a network” – Filed on June 17, 2010, and granted August 23, 2011.

Abstract:

An information management and distribution system is disclosed. The information management and distribution system facilitates the controlled exchange of contact information over a network. The system can support one or more of creation and design, rolodex, exchange, and update features. In one embodiment, the information management and distribution system can include a networked server system accessible by remote user devices via the network, and at least one database maintained by the networked server system and storing content information and exchange settings of registered users.

In other words, this patent covers the specific network procedures for allowing users to request and exchange content. Facebook claims that Flickr infringes on this patent. This one was originally filed by Cheah IP and was reassigned to Facebook in February 2012.

U.S. Patent No. 8,150,913 — “System for controlled distribution of user profiles over a network” – Filed on August 22, 2011, and granted April 3, 2012.

Yes, that's right. That 10th patent, which has the same name and description as the ninth one, was granted today. Facebook didn't wait long before filing its countersuit once it had that last patent. On a related note, three out of the 10 Yahoo patents in its lawsuit against Facebook were similar like the two above are similar. It's also worth noting that none of these 10 patents are from Facebook's purchase of 750 IBM patents.

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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4 comments
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  • Patents & Privacy

    Great article - as i read them i can't help but think about Privacy. Almost everyone of those patents extracts my private data.

    Peter
    Cranstone
    • Facebook's entire market is based on extracting private data from users

      nt
      wackoae
  • Patenting abstract concepts

    [quote] U.S. Patent No. 6,216,133 ??? ???Method for enabling a user to fetch a specific information item from a set of information items, and a system for carrying out such a method??? ??? Filed on May 30, 1996, and granted April 10, 2001.

    Abstract:

    A user of a system comprising a large set of information items, for example a multimedia database, is assisted by an agent in searching the set. The agent has a given affinity for the information items and selects a specific information item from the set in conformity with said affinity. On the basis of the interactions between the user and the system an image is formed of the affinity of the user for the information items. The agent utilizes this image, in addition to its own affinity, for the selection of a specific information item. A major application of the invention concerns a system in which the information items are presented as objects in a space and in which the agent guides the user through the space and proposes a specific object to the user. [/quote]

    Strange how this patent number 6,216,133 was not patented by Google first.
    The first paragraph sounds like they've just created a patent for SQL.
    Martmarty
  • Yahoo existed before Facebook.

    So what with all these silly patents from Facebook?
    Grayson Peddie