Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Facebook Smacks Back at Yahoo With Patent Claims in Counter-Lawsuit

Facebook has just taken strong aim back at Yahoo’s patent lawsuit with an answer and counter-claim filing of its own, alleging infringement over a number of issues.

“From the outset, we said we would defend ourselves vigorously against Yahoo’s lawsuit, and today we filed our answer as well as counter-claims against Yahoo for infringing ten of Facebook’s patents,” said Ted Ullyot, general counsel of Facebook. “While we are asserting patent claims of our own, we do so in response to Yahoo’s short-sighted decision to attack one of its partners and prioritize litigation over innovation.”

In its counter-claim filing involving 10 patents held by Facebook, the social networking giant said that Yahoo is infringing via a wide range of its offerings, including its homepage, content optimization, relevance engine, Flickr photo-sharing service and advertising throughout its huge site.

You know: The ads that make up most of Yahoo’s revenue.

In other words, Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg does not like being poked by new Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson, especially on the eve of a $100 billion IPO.

You might have heard that Facebook is going public and it’s a big deal around Silicon Valley, which is why no one much liked Yahoo’s skunk-at-a-garden-party legal move two weeks ago.

Yahoo fired back at Facebook’s firing back, in a statement:

“We have only just received Facebook’s answer and counterclaims, but on their face we believe they are without merit and nothing more than a cynical attempt to distract from the weakness of its defense. As we have made clear from the outset, the unauthorized use of our patented technology is unacceptable and must be resolved appropriately. Other leading companies license these technologies, and Facebook must do the same or change the way it operates. We have proposed that Facebook join us in discussions to resolve the matter, but our overtures have been rejected. As a result, we are prepared to continue to seek redress through the courts.”

The new filing could not come at a worse time for Yahoo, which will announce thousands of layoffs of employees tomorrow morning, in a wrenching restructuring to revive its lackluster business.

In its legal filing, Facebook also pushed back on assertions in Yahoo’s initial patent lawsuit, noting that it denies that “[w]ithout Yahoo!’s achievements, websites such as Facebook would not enjoy repeat visitors or substantial advertising revenue.”

I think Facebook — which is sure to try to drag this thing out for a long, long time — just called Yahoo a tech loser.

Here is the full document:


More to come, obvi.

Here I am talking about the whole enchilada on WSJ Live’s News Hub.

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