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Poke back: now Facebook sues Yahoo over patents

It appears that two can play at the patent infringement game.

social media Updated: Apr 04, 2012 21:51 IST

It appears that two can play at the patent infringement game.

In responding to Yahoo’s lawsuit last month accusing Facebook of violating 10 patents, the social networking giant on Tuesday argued that Yahoo had committed transgressions of its own.

Facebook claimed Yahoo has violated patents that cover some 80% of its revenue last year, amounting to more than $4 billion. Under contention are display advertising, content personalisation and photo sharing.

The latest court filing escalates the fight between the two, more than a month after Yahoo warned that it may sue Facebook over intellectual property claims. Yahoo filed a civil case on March 12 in San Jose.

Patent fights have taken on increasing prominence in the technology sector, with Apple, Microsoft and the BlackBerry maker Research in Motion among the many combatants in scores of courtroom battles.

The battle on the Facebook-Yahoo front comes nearly two months after the arrival of Yahoo’s new chief executive, Scott Thompson. Yahoo’s initial lawsuit came at a time when Facebook is seeking to go public, maybe as soon as May.

A Yahoo representative said “...on their face we believe they (the claims) are without merit and nothing more than a cynical attempt to distract from the weakness of its defence.”


First Published: Apr 04, 2012 21:48 IST