On Friday, the day started with two patent claims by Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) against Facebook. It wasn’t anything new for the Internet company to make the assertions but in response to them, Facebook has perceived the actions as “erratic.”
According to TNW Insider, they received the following comment from Facebook about Yahoo’s last action, “We remain perplexed by Yahoo’s erratic actions. We disagree with these latest claims and we will continue to defend ourselves vigorously.”
Doesn’t erratic mean unexplained or does Facebook have a short memory?
The two patents in question added by Yahoo on Friday included, “System and Method to Determine the Validity of and Interaction on a Network” and a “System and Method Allowing Advertisers to Manage Search Listings in Pay for Placement Search System Using Grouping.”
War of the Patents
The claims and words between the two companies is turning into a War of the Patents and it doesn’t seem like either company will back down anytime soon.
In a classic move of tit for tat, Facebook has launched 10 of its own patent claims against Yahoo. Facebook’s General Counsel Ted Ullyot told All Things D that “While we are asserting patent claims of our own, we do so in response to Yahoo’s short-sighted decision to attack one of its partners and prioritize litigation over innovation.”
All of this started in late February when Yahoo had warned Facebook that it would pursue legal action if it did not license 10 to 20 patents technologies culled from advertising, personalized web pages, social networking and messaging, reported The New York Times.
Yahoo said at that time, “We must insist that Facebook either enter into a licensing agreement or we will be compelled to move forward unilaterally to protect our rights.”
Facebook responded to that suit by saying, “We’re disappointed that Yahoo, a longtime business partner of Facebook and a company that has substantially benefited from its association with Facebook, has decided to resort to litigation. Once again, we learned of Yahoo’s decision simultaneously with the media. We will defend ourselves vigorously against these puzzling actions.”
As they say, be careful what you wish for, it may happen.
Both cases are new and have a high potential to go back and forth for quite some time. But you can’t help but wonder about the timing of all of this. Facebook is preparing to go public. Earlier this week, rumors swirled that they were pushing back their IPO and a June date is a possibility.
Will this add to the delay? Is Yahoo doing this on purpose?