New Patent Claims Added To Yahoo-Facebook Infringement Suit
April 28, 2012

New Patent Claims Added To Yahoo-Facebook Infringement Suit

Yahoo fired the latest volley in their ongoing legal battle with Facebook, calling the countersuit filed by the social media website earlier this month "slapdash" and adding a pair of new patents to their infringement accusations, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

According to the Associated Press (AP), Yahoo filed new court documents Friday claiming that Facebook infringes upon 12 of their Internet patents, as opposed to the 10 cited by the Web portal when they originally filed legal action against the Mark Zuckerberg owned website some six weeks ago.

In addition, PCMag's Chloe Albanesius reported that Yahoo has said the countersuit filed against them by Facebook, which came approximately one month after the original patent suit and followed Facebook's acquisition of 750 IBM patents, was simply an act of retribution.

Facebook has accused Yahoo of violating 10 patents, eight of which were acquired within the last five months, according to Albanesius. In turn, Yahoo representatives said that "many, if not all, of these patents were acquired by Facebook for purposes of retaliation against Yahoo" and that some of the applications covered by those patents "predate Facebook itself," they said, according to the PCMag report.

Furthermore, some of them reportedly pertain to Yahoo products "for which there is little to no publicly available information," which has led them to conclude that Facebook has either "unlawfully acquired Yahoo confidential business information," or they are basing their patent case "on nothing more than conjecture, assumptions, and unsupported inferences about how Yahoo's products may possibly operate," Yahoo said, according to Albanesius.

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

In March, Yahoo filed an intellectual property lawsuit against Facebook in a San Jose, California federal court, claiming that they were infringing upon -- at the time -- 10 of its patents including systems and methods for advertising online. Yahoo warned the social network last month that it would take action if it did not enter a licensing agreement for the disputed patents.

That prompted Facebook to acquire hundreds of patents from IBM, and then file a countersuit against the Sunnyvale, California-based Internet pioneer, claiming that they were guilty of infringing upon patents, including some that they had recently acquired. In that suit, Facebook accused Yahoo of violating patents related to advertising, personalization of content, and photo sharing, while also contending that they had obtained “express and/or implied license” to one or more of the patents that Yahoo had sued them over.