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Yahoo to Facebook: You Stole From Me

By SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, 13 March 2012, 11:55 Hrs   |    1 Comments
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Bangalore: Patent war is not something new to Silicon Valley. But the social networking world was never dragged into such battles, at least until now.

Yahoo filed a lawsuit against Facebook, accusing the social networking giant for copying a range of technologies invented and patented by Yahoo.

This is the first time Facebook is sued for infringing 10 patents, with some of them even related to its core operations. The lawsuit states, “Facebook’s entire social network model, which allows users to create profiles for and connect with, among other things, persons and businesses, is based on Yahoo’s patented social networking technology.”

Here are the specific technology patents that Yahoo says Facebook literally infringed.

Facebook’s News Feed

The primary way of viewing friends’ activity on Facebook- News Feed- infringes Yahoo’s customization patents. According to Yahoo, the customization patents include “online playback system with community bias.” For example, a user who is interested in sports may wish to see the sport related information highlighted in the website, whereas a person who is not interested in sports may not want to see the information.

Privacy Settings

Yahoo accused Facebook of infringing two privacy patents. According to company, “Yahoo recognized the importance of privacy on the World Wide Web, and developed technology that allows users to customize how information is shared.”

Online Advertising

Facebook used four patents based on Yahoo’s advertisement network which allows website operators to “generate revenue even when offering services for free”. The patent also includes “pay per click model” and methods for preventing “click fraud.”

Communication Patents

Facebook infringed the patent titled “System and method for instant messaging using an e-mail protocol,” which includes messaging, email and other communications in intra and inter-networks. According to the lawsuit, “Yahoo's innovators recognized the need for users of a website to communicate with others through different forms of messaging."

Yahoo’s lawsuit concluded with the following threat to Facebook

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Reader's comments(1)
1: If it lead to a settlement, it will cost Facebook a portion of what it made till date
Posted by:Harsha - 13 Mar, 2012