Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Facebook Patents Yahoo! News Technology

Yahoo Files Patent Infringement Suit Against Facebook 121

An anonymous reader writes with an excerpt from an article over at ZD Net: "As expected, Yahoo today filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook. The online giant is claiming the social networking giant infringes on 10 of its patents. Yahoo is hoping to secure some portion of Facebook's revenues moving forward. '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,' a Yahoo spokesperson told AllThingsD. '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 are confident that we will prevail.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Yahoo Files Patent Infringement Suit Against Facebook

Comments Filter:
  • by decora ( 1710862 ) on Monday March 12, 2012 @07:28PM (#39333305) Journal

    and im sorry but im guessing someone had a patent on 'selection of high quality linkage indicators in a computer network' if they looked hard enough.

    if yahoo has anything, it is a right to join the corrupt backstabbing club of big tech giants who are all shaking each other down with lawyers playing the role of 'knee-cap breaker'. its very similar to how the mafia controls a neighborhood. each 'family' has 'turf' and 'agreements' to get cuts of various businesses. and they are always fighting amongst each other and threatening to wipe each other out.

    meanwhile, ordinary people are just trying to build stuff, make a small profit, and live a normal life. not die with a mountain of cocaine piled on top of our desk.

  • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Monday March 12, 2012 @08:35PM (#39333991) Homepage Journal

    Suppose some entity puts all of their software patents into a pool. For the sake of argument, let's say Google and IBM get together and pool all of their software patents into a sort of "co-op". Anyone who is a member of the co-op gets to use any and all the patents in the pool, royalty free.

    Then they open up membership in the co-op.

    Anyone who wants can join the co-op, with the following requirements:
    1) They donate their own software patents (if any) to the pool
    2) They agree not to sue any other co-op member over a software patent

    And the following benefits:
    1) They can use any patent in the pool royalty free
    2) They won't be sued by anyone else in the co-op

    Here's the best part: you can be a member of the co-op even if you *don't* have patents to donate. Membership is open to anyone - engineers, lawyers, businessmen... anyone.

    With the big players taking the lead (Google and IBM in our example), everyone can now charge more or pay less, based on whether the other party is a co-op member.

    Engineer looking for a job? We offer higher salaries to members of the co-op.

    Vendor looking to sell? We discount our rates for members of the co-op.

    Everyone in the group could adjust their prices depending on whether the other party is a member. The price adjustment reflects the "cost of doing business" with a particular class of people. The same as charging higher health insurance rates for smokers, or higher car insurance rates to teenagers.

    Mark Twain once wrote about a small group of riverboat captains who banded together in this way, and effectively forced everyone to join their union. Initially no outsider wanted to join, but the members all agreed *not* to work with anyone who was not also a member. Captains found it easier to join the union than turn down a work opportunity.

    The co-op model would also help stifle vague and overreaching patents. If someone in the co-op is sued (by an outsider), the member can refer to similar patents from the co-op which cover the same idea. Since in theory two patents cannot cover the same idea, the member can claim that the usage falls more within the co-op description than the troll-patent description.

    If people could do this and stick to their guns, we would eliminate software patents in a couple of years.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12, 2012 @08:42PM (#39334061)

    The patents in question are for a technique (not the general idea, general ideas are not patentable) for ordering and presenting ads on a web page based on a user's past actions. The techniques specified in the patent are an assemblage of well known patterns to simple problems. This assemblage is indeed obvious to any skilled practioner.

    Good patents for non-obvious innovations that further the state of the art are needed, but these Yahoo patents ain't them. The patent system is supposed to be setup so that if a skilled practitioner looks at patented invention he'll say "damn, how did they implement that?". Then, in turn for revealing the implementation, the inventor is granted legal protection for a period of time. Meanwhile the rest of society says "aha! now that I see how that clever implemenation was achieved works I can apply similar implemenations to other problems" and society moves forward.

    Anybody with a background in Comp Sci or Engineering could be given the problem background described in these Yahoo patents and come up with almost identical implmentations, because THERE IS NOT INVENTION OR INNOVATION TAKING PLACE, its just well known technologies being applied in obvious patterns! That is not invention as described in the charter of the patent office, yet the patent office issues thousands of similar flimsy patents every year. /end_rant

  • Re:Company Lifecycle (Score:4, Interesting)

    by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:53AM (#39336771)

    Actually step 4 is wrong. What really happens is a few steps:

    4) Go public
    5) Discover that the people who now control your company have absolutely no incentive in it's long-term survival but every incentive to make their shares worth more next quarter.
    6) Fire the founder and appoint a new CEO (unless the founder plays ball - 96% of them get fired).
    7) Make a lot of moves that give massive short term profit boosts by effectively selling off the very assets that made your company a success in the first place - mass layoffs for example.
    8) Report a record profit
    9) Watch as all those share-holders sell their pricey stocks - the price now comes back down
    10) Discover that without good staff you can't make good products. Stagnate while competition forges ahead.

    Continue with your original step 5.

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham