Confirmed: Facebook Buys 750 IBM Patents For Defense

By Jackie Cohen Comment

Facebook is purchasing 750 patents from IBM in order to bolster defenses against patent infringement suits, especially the one filed by Yahoo.

Bloomberg first reported about the pending transaction, citing an anonymous source with knowledge of the situation.

Not including this reported transaction, Facebook has 56 U.S. patents and has applied for another 503 of them; 33 corresponding patents are held in foreign countries, with 159 applications also pending.

Last year, the company faced 22 patent infringement lawsuits, according to Legal Metric.

The suit filed by Yahoo last month involves 10 patents surrounding advertising, data sharing and privacy. The plaintiff wants an order barring Facebook from further infringing upon these patents and also seeks triple damages.

The lawsuit that’s effectively soured a corporate friendship has prompted many to call the whole patent filing system into question. But Facebook doesn’t yet appear to be one of those doing the questioning, since the purchase of 750 patents suggests that the company’s legal strategy will involve a heavy defensive play.

Readers, what do you make of the news that Facebook is buying more patents?

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