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Monday, March 26, 2012

Yahoo - The Anti-Social Network ?

Yahoo Screwing Facebook?
Since digital portals and social networks are being used more and more by publishers and authors to do their work, a little understanding about how their management acts and interacts online might help one decide who to invest their time with.

Yahoo seems to be developing a certain rep for suing other online entities just as they are getting ready to go public with IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) --- apparently in an attempt to destroy or lessen the new IPO company's initial valuation. This in turn results in a lower price per share loan for expansion, research, etc.

Sounds like nasty business, sour grapes or whatever to me.

These intriguing details from David Kalish of Coats & Bennett PLLC through Lexology.com  :

The anti-social network: Yahoo v. Facebook

In quite an anti-social move, Yahoo has sued its former business partner Facebook for patent infringement. This is one of the first patent litigations in the relatively new and evolving field of social networking.

Yahoo claims that Facebook is infringing ten different patents related to a variety of different aspects of social networking. These aspects generally include instant messaging advertising, fraud prevention in a pay-per-click system, privacy protection and controls, news feed and information customization, and network architecture involved with social networking. Specifically, the following patents are involved in the suit:

Click link at end of post for list of patents.

Facebook denies that they infringe any of these ten patents and has vowed to fight. Many of these patents appear to be directed to basic concepts that may have been in use prior to Yahoo’s patent filings. Further, the patents issued before much of the current case law involving statutory subject matter (i.e., 35 U.S.C. 101) regarding computer-related information. Issues may arise regarding whether these patents meet the new requirements as now interpreted by the Patent Office and various courts.

Yahoo is bringing this suit at a time when Facebook may be somewhat vulnerable. Facebook is in the process of an initial stock market listing that is expected to provide a valuation of between $75 billion -$100 billion. Facebook may be more willing to settle this dispute prior to the offering to remove any potential issues that could affect the value of the company. Yahoo has used this timing strategy before when they sued Google for patent infringement in 2004. That suit was filed at a time when Google was preparing for their initial public listing.

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