Yahoo sues Facebook in patent row

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THE latest patents
dispute between some of the world's best known companies is pitting Yahoo!
against Facebook in a rare social media court battle.

According
to a report published in SkyNews.com,
Yahoo! filed a lawsuit in a California court on Monday night accusing
Facebook of infringing 10 patents held by the internet pioneer.

They
cover several areas, including security, advertising and messaging. Yahoo!
asked the court in San Jose to order Facebook to halt its alleged
patent-infringing activities and assess unspecified damages.

It
claims that Facebook's growth to more than 850 million users "has been
based in large part on Facebook's use of Yahoo!'s patented technology".

Among
its complaints was that Facebook's popular 'News Feed' feature was
"directly linked to Facebook's infringement" of Yahoo! patents and its
advertising model was based on advertising patents held by Yahoo! Its
media statement read: "Yahoo! has invested substantial resources in
research and development through the years, which has resulted in numerous
patented inventions of technology that other companies have licensed.





"These technologies are the foundation of our business that engages over
700 million monthly unique visitors and represent the spirit of innovation
upon which Yahoo! is built. "Unfortunately, the matter with Facebook
remains unresolved and we are compelled to seek redress in federal court.
We will defend ourselves vigorously against these puzzling actions.

It
continued: "We are confident that we will prevail." The timing of the
lawsuit has not escaped attention as it was launched five weeks after
Facebook filed to go public on Wall Street with an estimated valuation of
up to $100bn (£64bn).

Scott Thompson, formerly head of mobile
payments firm PayPal, became chief executive at Yahoo! early this year
promising urgent action to turn the company around. In recent years it has
struggled to grow profits from its huge web presence and global audience
and internal rows over strategy have made headlines.

Patent
actions are a frequent occurrence among smartphone and tablet computer
makers but are relatively rare among social media companies. Facebook,
which was founded a decade after Yahoo!, expressed regret at the legal
move.

A spokesman said: "We're disappointed that Yahoo, a
longtime business partner of Facebook and a company that has substantially
benefited from its association with Facebook, has decided to resort to
litigation. "We will defend ourselves vigourously against these puzzling
actions."




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