Yahoo files case against Facebook

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Facebook is once again at the headlines after reports surfaced that Yahoo! is filing an infringement case against the popular social networking site.

Yahoo! is accusing Facebook of infringing Sunnyvale’s patents. This assert broad ownership of practices in online advertising, privacy, customization, social networking and as well as messaging.

The company said, “Facebook’s entire social network model, which allows users to create profile and connect with, among other things, persons and businesses, is based on Yahoo’s patents.”

Yahoo! is lagging behind rival Google as the most used search engine company.

Facebook said, “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. We will defend ourselves vigorously against these puzzling actions.”

The problem with Yahoo!’s accusation is that the US patent office grants so many duplicative, overlapping, undeserving and broadly defined patents that companies will eventually infringe in developing their products.

According to James Bessen of Boston University, “There’s a well-known pattern, and this seems to fit into it, of companies that have patent portfolios falling on hard times and turning to litigation. It has very little to do with what the patent system was designed for and nothing to do with innovation.”

Image source: technowit.com