Facebook Stocking Up For Battle With Yahoo
Facebook is getting ready for a legal battle with Yahoo over patents. Facebook is stocking up with hundreds of patents from International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), looking to increase their intellectual property portfolio as they get closer to heading to court.
It's considered a classic defensive movie for companies that have been targeted by a patent claim. It gives Facebook room to threaten a countersuit using it's own patents. The bad news for Facebook is that their opponent holds far more patents. The search portal holds more than 3,300 patents while the social media giant Facebook only has 56 issued patents and 503 applications for patents as of the first of the year.
The 750 patents that Facebook picked up from IBM include a wide variety of technology from search to semiconductors according to an unnamed inside source.
What they're going to do with the semiconductor patents, I don't know.
Neither IBM nor Facebook are talking about the deal, so it's unknown how much Facebook paid for the patents, but they probably paid a significant sum. Tech companies looking to build their intellectual property portfolios have increased the prices. Last summer, Google paid $12.5 billion to buy Motorola Mobility. Before that Apple Inc. bought 6,000 patents from Nortel Networks Corp. for $4.5 billion.
The Yahoo lawsuit claims that Facebook infringed on 10 of their patents, including ones that cover online advertising technology and social sharing. Facebook, the largest social media network is working towards an initial public offering (IPO) that could value the company at up to $100 billion. Some experts have suggested that the patent lawsuit is a move by Yahoo to claim a share of that IPO.
[Story via Chicago Tribune]