Yahoo Adds Patent Claims Against Facebook

Yahoo Adds Patent Claims Against Facebook

On Friday, while ignoring all the negative noise against its patent infringement lawsuit, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) filed two more claims against Facebook.

The additional claims include Yahoo’s assertion that Facebook Ads violate the “System and Method to Determine Validity of and Interaction on a Network” and the “System and Method Allowing Advertisers to Manage Search Listings in Pay for Placement Search System Using Grouping,” .

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In a statement by Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) about the filing, the company said, “Today Yahoo! filed additional claims against Facebook in U.S. District Court in San Jose related to two additional patents on which Facebook infringes. Today’s filing underscores the breadth of Facebook’s violation of Yahoo!’s intellectual property. As we have stated previously, Yahoo!’s technologies are the foundation of our business that engages over 700 million monthly unique visitors and represent the spirit of innovation upon which Yahoo! is built. We intend to vigorously protect these technologies for our customers and shareholders.”

The company also lashed out at Facebook in its filing for advancing patents in-suit that it bought from other companies (see Facebook’s recent purchase of 650 Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) patents). They had initially been held by AOL and had been viewed as a way for Facebook to shield against infringement claims, according to The Washington Post.

In addition to the money spent on Microsoft patents, it has also doled out cash for International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) patents. The bill for the two has come to hundreds of millions of dollars for the company to enhance its portfolio.

Meanwhile, Facebook had filed its own counterclaims against Yahoo! over different social networking patents.

Yahoo wanted to show Facebook’s intent with the patents as weak, by saying in its filing, “Facebook lacks a good faith basis for most, if not all, of its counterclaims, particularly those patents that it purchased from others.”

Patents Are Par for the Course

According to patent expert Florian Mueller, he explained it’s not usual for companies to use patents acquired from other firms in patent litigation. Yahoo! has viewed Facebook as doing this as a way to defend itself against infringement claims.

Mueller wrote, “Yahoo! wants to show to Facebook that escalation always goes both ways, and it tries to make Facebook’s counterclaims look dubious and weak, with a view not only to the court but also the general public and existing or prospective Facebook investors.”

Facebook has not made additional comments on the suit.