Report: Yahoo, Facebook Patent Talks Intensify

By David Cohen 

Executives from Yahoo and Facebook have been in negotiations to end their patent litigation battle, started by a suit Yahoo filed against Facebook in March, with the two companies exploring cross-licensing of patents and deeper integration between the search engine and the social network, according to reports.

AllThingsD reported that a settlement could come in the next few weeks, adding that one potential roadblock is that while Facebook may be willing to purchase some of Yahoo’s patents, it is unlikely to match the type of payment it issued to Microsoft for patents formerly held by AOL.

One source close to the talks told AllThingsD:

Facebook paid a lot of money for patents already, just not to Yahoo.

According to AllThingsD, the prospect of collecting millions of dollars, if not billions, was what motivated former Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Scott Thompson to proceed with the unpopular lawsuit against Facebook, but with Thompson out of the picture, Interim CEO Ross Levinsohn is pushing for a settlement.

The talks have included Levinsohn and Yahoo board members like Third Point’s Daniel Loeb, according to AllThingsD, while Facebook has been represented by executives including Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Vice President of Partnerships Dan Rose.

Readers: Do you think aggressively pursuing a settlement is in Yahoo’s best interests?