Facebook and Yahoo lay down patent arms
9 July 2012
The technology patent war may rage on, but internet giants Facebook and Yahoo have made a deal to end their intellectual property battle.
The two companies locked horns earlier this year when Yahoo filed a lawsuit against the social media company, contending that several of its patents were being infringed. Facebook soon struck back, buying 750 patents from IBM and initiating their own patent litigation back at Yahoo.
Now the two companies have come to an agreement. Rather than agreeing to shell out vast amounts of money simply to placate each other, the two companies have formed an alliance, signing a cross-licensing deal that will allow both companies access to each other’s portfolio of patents. Yahoo holds over 3000 patents, while Facebook’s own patent library is nearing four figures.
According to a press release, Facebook and Yahoo have also agreed to work together more closely, indicating their intentions to “bring Yahoo!’s large media event coverage to Facebook users by collaborating on social integrations on the Yahoo! site.”
The decision to begin legal proceedings against Facebook was taken by then-Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson, whose tenure with the company lasted a mere 130 days. His premature departure was speculated to have been related to controversy regarding embellishment of the academic credentials on his CV.
Thompson’s replacement, interim CEO Ross Levinsohn, said that settling the dispute with Facebook had been one of his first priorities. “It’s important for us as a company to fully embrace social and fixing the damaged relationship with Facebook was at the top of my list when I was asked to take this role,” he told AllThingsD.com. “It’s good for consumers that Yahoo and Facebook work together.”