After news broke today that Facebook is paying $550 million to Microsoft for AOL patents, I wrote a story titled "Why Facebook is buying 650 AOL patents from Microsoft." Here's the summary:
Facebook is acquiring the majority of the patents Microsoft just acquired from AOL. Facebook will thus soon own over 1,000 patents. This deal is really all about another company: Yahoo.
Yahoo contacted me a few minutes ago with a request to update my story with a statement from the company. I decided this is worthy of its own article, because this is quite the bold move from the online giant:
Nothing about today's action changes the fact that Facebook continues to infringe our patents. Companies who purchase patents are often working from a position of weakness and take these actions to strengthen their portfolio. We see today's announcement as a validation of our case against Facebook.
In other words, Yahoo is not scared in the slightest that Facebook is bulking up its patent portfolio. Here's my conclusion from my previous article:
Yahoo's statement makes it quite clear that this is not going to happen. In short, Sunnyvale is still confident it will win its patent fight with Menlo Park. Unfortunately, this is shaping up to be one of those long drawn-out patent battles. Frankly, I think that's just too bad. Yahoo can benefit a lot more from working with Facebook (as it already has been doing) than working against it.
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