Yahoo Sues Facebook for Patent Infringement

A rumor that spread across the Web indicating that  Silicon Valley Internet icon Yahoo, has been planning to sue the social networking giant Facebook for patent infringement. The rumor also suggests that this attack against Facebook was the idea of the newly appointed Yahoo CEO, Scott Thompson.

Well, this doesn’t remain a rumor anymore as Yahoo today has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook stating that the company infringes on 10 of Yahoo’s patents.  The lawsuit comes just days before Facebook is due to cash in with its IPO, which is expected to value the social network at as much as $100 billion.

Here are the 10 patents for which Yahoo has filed a case against Facebook -

  • U.S. Patent No. 690756671001117373599 — “Method and system for optimum placement of advertisements on a webpage”
  • U.S. Patent No. 7668861 — “System and method to determine the validity of an interaction on a network”
  • U.S. Patent No. 7269590 — “Method and system for customizing views of information associated with a social network user”
  • U.S. Patent No. 7599935 — “Control for enabling a user to preview display of selected content based on another user’s authorisation level”
  • U.S. Patent No. 7454509 — “Online playback system with community bias”
  • U.S. Patent No. 5983227 — “Dynamic page generator”
  • U.S. Patent No. 7747648 — “World modeling using a relationship network with communication channels to entities”
  • U.S. Patent No. 7406501 — “System and method for instant messaging using an e-mail protocol”

Yahoo Facebook Patent War

The advertising patents of Yahoo include patents that are related to produce advertisements that relate to users, similar to Facebook’s personalized ads that include users’ friends’ info. It also includes the system to monitor ad clicks for click fraud identification.

Apart from that, the two patents related to Yahoo’s privacy patents include allow users to customize how information is shared, which is similar to Facebook’s privacy settings. However, the privacy setting of Facebook is much logical and easier to understand.

Yahoo says Facebook is infringing on patents in “messaging, news feed generation, social commenting, advertising display, preventing click fraud, and privacy controls.” Yahoo also claims that, before it adopted Yahoo’s “patented social networking technology in 2008,” Facebook was considered one of the “worst performing Internet sites for advertising.”

Here’s the copy of the complaint filed by Yahoo against Facebook -

It is said that the newly appointed CEO of Yahoo, Scott Thompson, is the one who is behind all this and has been reportedly driving this aggressive strategy. Yahoo is pretty much “confident” that it “will prevail” in federal court, however, Facebook has promised to fight back against Yahoo’s patent claims and win over them.

Facebook says that it’s “disappointed” that Yahoo has decided to resort to litigation, but Yahoo contends that it is “confident it will prevail.”

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