Yahoo, Facebook eye settlement in patent spat

Yahoo and Facebook -- still locked in a patent battle -- are seeking resolution to their ongoing litigation. The companies asked for more time to discuss ending the spat.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Yahoo and Facebook have asked for more time from a U.S. judge as part of efforts to end ongoing litigation, according to a court filing.

The two companies, which are locked in a battle over patents, said they wanted court deadlines pushed back to allow breathing space for the talks to continue in the hope the two can avoid the courtroom.

Yahoo's lawyer Kevin Smith wrote in the filing: "The parties are engaged in settlement negotiations to resolve this dispute."

Giving the two companies more time would "facilitate settlement," he added.

According to Reuters, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White approved the delay request on Wednesday.

In a case of "he said, she said," Yahoo fired off the starting pistol earlier this year by claiming the world's largest social network infringed on 10 of its patents. Facebook was quick to fire off its own countersuit.

Since then, Yahoo suffered an embarrassing facepalm following its claims that Facebook had fraudulently filed some of the patents in dispute. Facebook subsequently proved that Yahoo's lawyers hadn't even checked the records to back up its claim.

Yahoo's shift in litigation strategy came as the 'revolving door of chief executives' spun once more, spitting out and Scott Thompson and sucking in Ross Levinsohn into the company.

Under Thompson's short-lived reign, Facebook was firmly set in Yahoo's crosshairs. Under Levinsohn, it appears the company is willing to take a negotiating stance over the lawsuit.

Representatives for both Yahoo and Facebook declined to comment on the case or the negotiations when asked by sister site CNET.


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