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Yahoo Suing Facebook – Tech Tuesday

Suing a tech company for patent infringement, is almost commonplace now. You can almost say it’s a business strategy with how some companies strategy for survival, when faced with collapse, is to sue other companies for infringing their patents, to hopefully force a settlement for a big payoff in license fees. This may be the case with Yahoo filing suit against Facebook, with Yahoo reportedly getting ready to let a lot of people go. Has Yahoo become a patent troll?

San Francisco Landmark Yahoo Billboard Comes Down
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Yahoo is claiming that Facebook is infringing on 10 of it’s patents. A couple of them are listed as, Method and system for optimum placement of advertisements on a webpage, Dynamic page generator and System and method for instant messaging using an e-mail protocol to just name a few. More could be added as the suit goes forward. Yahoo and Facebook were negotiating how to resolve this, but with the suit being filed, it appears that the talks have broken down.

What does this mean for Facebook? This could affect the price of it’s impending stock offering. When I talked about it recently, they were estimating $10 billion dollars being raised from the offering. And Yahoo it seems would like it’s share of it. It wouldn’t seem suspicious if Yahoo didn’t threaten Facebook with “Patent War” a few weeks after Facebook filed for it’s IPO.

Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson is the one who has reportedly gave the go ahead to file the suit. So now, Yahoo has joined the ranks of other patent trolls who make their money off of trying to get companies to settle out of court, as it would be cheaper in the long run compared to getting slapped down in court and then paying 10x more in licensing fees and damages to the suing company.

Yahoo, to me has been on the decline for sometime now. I’ve had an email account with them for years, and I don’t even use it really, because of all the spam. Their search results are not as good as Google’s but their groups and news, are pretty good. But it’s not enough to stem the some of the losses they have suffered over the years. So I guess becoming a patent troll is something to look forward to should another big name on the internet starts to decline.


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