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Yahoo Suing Facebook For Patent Infringement

     
2:50 pm on Mar 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yahoo Suing Facebook For Patent Infringement
[allthingsd.com]
In what is either the boldest gamble of its history or the most boneheaded, Yahoo has filed a massive patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook.

The attack by the Silicon Valley Internet icon against perhaps the most powerful consumer social networking site today — also based in tech’s heartland and also an important partner of Yahoo — is sure to be a controversial one, pitting Yahoo against a company that has surpassed it handily in recent years in regards to popularity among consumers.

“Facebook’s entire social network model, which allows users to create profiles for and connect with, among other things, persons and businesses, is based on Yahoo’s patented social networking technology,” Yahoo’s lawsuit reads, in part.

That includes, Yahoo alleges, Facebook’s popular News Feed, advertising methods, privacy settings and more. The company adds that Facebook has been “free riding” on Yahoo’s intellectual property and that royalty payments alone will not suffice.



Earlier story

Yahoo Seeks Licencing Fees From Facebook [webmasterworld.com]
5:27 pm on Mar 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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They better not win this.

Patents on software are already so ridiculous, this would be another nail in the coffin of innovation.

Software builds and improves upon it's predecessors. That's how it works. You shouldn't be able to patent things like this.

It would be nice if finally, a court used this to set a precedent, and start fixing our patent laws around software.
5:42 pm on Mar 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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royalty payments alone will not suffice


Cracker-jack lawyer? You can't expect a judge to shut facebook down or force them to cease advertising etc. It would inconvenience millions of people, cash is the most you can win here.

Had Yahoo! tried to shut down a much, much smaller Facebook years ago maybe, now? No way.

The lawsuit itself claims it's been going on for years, they should have acted BEFORE it inconveniences millions.

I think this is a PR stunt, as the saying goes - if you can't make things better, make them worse first.
6:18 pm on Mar 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I think this is a PR stunt

Shhhh....
6:25 pm on Mar 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I don't think it's a PR stunt, I think it's a new ceo coming in, looking at everything and every way they can make some additional money. It just looks very sad.
7:01 pm on Mar 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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CEO Manual

Index

Chapter 1: How to Find a Buyer of Yahoo

Sub-Chapter A: How Quickly Finding a Buyer Will Maximize the Value of Your Stock Options

Step 1: Find a deep pocket and incentivize the sale. Alternatively, incentivize purchase and/or licensing of IP.


From MarketWatch.com [marketwatch.com ]

In 2004, Google ended up issuing pre-IPO shares to Yahoo to settle that dispute, and there’s a chance we could see Facebook doing the same.
10:18 pm on Mar 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Assuming Yahoo's claims have at least a shred of credibility, Facebook will likely settle this out of court.

Imagine Yahoo won their claim to the Newsfeed on Facebook...Facebook would have to totally alter their functionality.
11:43 pm on Mar 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I haven't even ever looked at the patents that Yahoo! has filed, but I would imagine there are plenty which relate to Facebook's functionality.

It's hard to say at this point whether they have any standing in this lawsuit, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did. Facebook has filed vague patents in the past and even the notion of a "feed" with any personalization seems to violate patents filed by Facebook.

Either way, the case might set precedent on vague patents.
11:47 pm on Mar 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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... cash is the most you can win here.

Some online (or was it TV?) business commentator suggested a nice pile of stock might be the goal.
10:32 am on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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the last growls of a dying beast.
1:00 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Imagine Yahoo won their claim to the Newsfeed on Facebook...Facebook would have to totally alter their functionality.


Yahoo didn't patent the Newsfeed, they patented a Dynamic Content Generator. Which means that practically every site on the web is breaking one of Yahoo's "patents".

Software patents are inherently silly. I could write a poem, and you could write a poem, and they would be completely different in words and structure, but now Yahoo has patented the poem and we must pay up. Unless the code is stolen, you should not be able to patent a general idea.

They even patented where to place ads on a site, how dumb is that? Someone from the patent office needs to step in and cancel all software patents.
1:47 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yahoo didn't patent the Newsfeed, they patented a Dynamic Content Generator. Which means that practically every site on the web is breaking one of Yahoo's "patents".

Software patents are inherently silly. I could write a poem, and you could write a poem, and they would be completely different in words and structure, but now Yahoo has patented the poem and we must pay up. Unless the code is stolen, you should not be able to patent a general idea.

They even patented where to place ads on a site, how dumb is that? Someone from the patent office needs to step in and cancel all software patents.


EXACTLY!
4:08 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yahoo as patent troll... Wow.

I think this move secures them a ticket to the land of the once relevant.
4:32 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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This take on it seems to sum up most web professionals feelings:
A Patent Lie: How Yahoo Weaponized My Work [wired.com]
10:19 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@ChanandlerBong ...more like the last squeals of a dying piglet?
2:54 am on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Assuming this involves the PPC patents from GoTo. Seems to be the most important one to me...

Google set the benchmark and paid Yahoo a few years ago and moved on. Why? So that it would become more expensive for the next entrant.

Would be interesting to see how this plays out given that Yahoo's financial strengths are vastly weaker than when they were battling Google.
1:33 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Given the state of Yahoo, it might be cheaper/easier for FB to just buy them