Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Yahoo escalates patent battle with Facebook
Lawsuits » Acrimony spills over ahead of social network’s IPO.
First Published Apr 28 2012 01:01 am • Last Updated Apr 28 2012 05:24 pm

San Francisco • Yahoo is bringing out more artillery in its patent battle with Facebook.

It is adding new allegations of intellectual property theft to its six-week-old lawsuit against Facebook. In court papers filed late last week, Yahoo Inc. now says Facebook’s online social network infringes on 12 of its Internet patents, up from 10.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Yahoo also denied allegations that it has been infringing on 10 of Facebook’s patents and accused its rival of engaging in shady behavior.

Among other things, Yahoo says Facebook violated an agreement between the two companies to notify each other of possible patent infringements before filing a court claim.

"We remain perplexed by Yahoo’s erratic actions," Facebook said in a statement. "We disagree with these latest claims, and we will continue to defend ourselves vigorously."

Yahoo questioned Facebook’s integrity in the new filing in San Francisco federal court. It said Facebook recently bought several patents for the sole purpose of countersuing Yahoo and then guessed which Yahoo services might rely on the technologies covered by the intellectual property rights.

"Unless Facebook has unlawfully acquired Yahoo confidential business information, Facebook could not have developed a good-faith basis for many of the infringement allegations in its counterclaims," Yahoo’s lawyers wrote in the papers.

Shortly after Yahoo filed its lawsuit March 12, Facebook bought 750 patents from IBM Corp. And on Monday, Facebook agreed to pay $550 million for 650 patents that Microsoft Corp. had just bought from AOL Inc.

The acrimony between Yahoo and Facebook is spilling out as Facebook is preparing to raise $5 billion in an initial public offering of stock that is expected to be the richest in Silicon Valley history.

Yahoo’s decision to sue Facebook has been widely perceived in Silicon Valley as a desperate grab for a piece of the IPO action.


story continues below
story continues below

Once an Internet powerhouse, Yahoo first was eclipsed by online search leader Google Inc. and in recent years has been losing more traffic and advertising to Facebook. The shift has siphoned revenue away from Yahoo, with impacts including 2,000 layoff notices earlier this month, and it has depressed the company’s stock price.

Yahoo shares gained four cents Friday to close at $15.57. The stock hasn’t traded above $20 since September 2008.

Yahoo hired a new CEO, Scott Thompson, at the start of 2012 in its latest attempt to engineer a turnaround. Thompson, Yahoo’s fourth CEO in less than five years, is hoping he can boost the company’s stock by getting Facebook to pay patent royalties through a settlement or court ruling. But if there’s no truce, the legal skirmish could last years.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.