Facebook Fires Back At Yahoo In Patent Case

By David Cohen Comment

Defendants always vow to defend themselves vigorously against the allegations at hand, but Facebook followed through on that promise, filing a counterclaim to Yahoo’s patent-infringement lawsuit and turning the tables by accusing Yahoo of patent violations.

Facebook said in its filing (see below) that Yahoo infringed on 10 patents covering 80 percent of the social network’s 2011 revenue, The New York TimesDealBook blog reported, with AllThingsD spelling them out as covering the Facebook homepage, content optimization, relevance engine, Flickr photo-sharing service, and advertising.

The timing is dangerous for both companies, as Facebook is nearing its initial public offering, while Yahoo is poised to announce massive layoffs in the thousands tomorrow, according to AllThingsD.

AllThingsD also unearthed the details on the 10 patents Facebook mentioned in its answer and counterclaim.

In the inevitable posturing after any sort of development in a contentious case such as this, Facebook General Counsel Ted Ullyot issued a statement saying:

From the outset, we said we would defend ourselves vigorously against Yahoo’s lawsuit, and today we filed our answer, as well as counterclaims against Yahoo for infringing 10 of Facebook’s patents. While we are asserting patent claims of our own, we do so in response to Yahoo’s short-sighted decision to attack one of its partners and prioritize litigation over innovation.

A Yahoo spokesperson responded:

We have only just received Facebook’s answer and counterclaims, but on their face, we believe they are without merit and nothing more than a cynical attempt to distract from the weakness of its defense.

Readers: Do you see a long, drawn-out court battle, or do you think Facebook and Yahoo will reach some sort of settlement?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Facebook’s Counterclaims to Yahoo’s Patent Lawsuit