Feeds

Yahoo! threatens! Facebook! with! patent! spanking!

Pay up or see us in court! yells Yahoo!

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Like certain other tech companies that have failed to keep up with rivals' innovations, Yahoo! is resorting to a patent battle to top up its revenues.

The web firm is trying to persuade Facebook to license ten to 20 of its patents that deal with advertising, personalisation of web pages, social networking and messaging, people briefed with the matter leaked to the New York Times.

The two companies were apparently chatting about the issue on Monday, when Yahoo! told Facebook that the social network was infringing these patents and it better pay up or Yahoo! would see it in court! Or words to that effect.

“Yahoo! has a responsibility to its shareholders, employees and other stakeholders to protect its intellectual property,” a Yahoo! spokesman told the NYT. “We must insist that Facebook either enter into a licensing agreement or we will be compelled to move forward unilaterally to protect our rights.”

Facebook is not impressed by Yahoo!, judging by this catty statement to El Reg:

Yahoo! contacted us at the same time they called the New York Times and so we haven't had the opportunity to fully evaluate their claims.

The smartphone and fondleslab sectors have been rocked by patent battles as big manufacturers and OS builders grab as much of the lucrative market as possible. But social networking has until now been blessedly free of legal machinations.

Yahoo! has been pretty hard-up for the last few years, eating Google and upstart web firms' dust as its popularity waned, particularly in the US. The web firm has been pursuing a number of options to try to turn itself around, including selling all or some of itself off.

Of course, if Yahoo! could squeeze a load of money out of Facebook and other social networks in patent licences or legal damages for infringement, it might not need to sell itself off, which would be a much happier situation for it.

But it's a pretty nasty time to be springing this on Facebook, since the social network is unlikely to want to get into a litigation battle right before it goes public, an event that's expected in the next few weeks. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.