The legal battle over patents between Internet pioneer Yahoo Inc. and social networking giant Facebook went up the temperature scale Tuesday as Facebook filed its countersuit in a court in San Francisco, CA.
Digital Trends, citing the Associated Press report, said that Facebook, in its own filing, asked the California court for a jury trial, and likewise sued for damages. It asked the court to dismiss Yahoo’s charges.
The case began in March when Yahoo Inc., beset by corporate and revenue troubles, filed a case in San Francisco charging that Facebook violated 10 of its patents covering advertising, social networking and privacy controls.
In an earlier riposte to the Yahoo lawsuit, Facebook claimed that Yahoo infringed 10 Facebook patents involving advertising, photo-tagging and online recommendations, among others.
AP noted that the lawsuits, which could take months—even years—to resolve, might not yet affect the two firms’ operations.
The Yahoo patent-violation complaint filing was just days after Facebook announced that it was preparing for its first public offering, which could come very soon. If the IPO pushes through, the current legal issues notwithstanding, Facebook stands to fetch some $10 billion in new investors’ money, pushing its value to $100 billion.
In its new filing yesterday, a Facebook legal counsel told AP the counter-suit was in response to what termed Yahoo Inc.’s shortsighted decision to attack one of its partners, and its intention to place more value on litigation over innovation.
Industry observers said the Yahoo-Facebook legal tiff puts into the spotlight a significant difference between the contending companies: Facebook owns just 56 patents compared to Yahoo’s 1,000 patents as of 2011.
Source: Digital Trends