As disputes over Internet patents continue to make headlines, Facebook is now suing Yahoo for using, they say, Facebook-registered coding in the Flickr Photostream and Activity Feeds.
Last month, Yahoo began legal proceedings to sue Facebook over 10 patents upon which it claims the social network is infringing. But Facebook is now counter-suing over US Patent 7,827,208 for “generating dynamic relationship-based content personalised for members of a web-based social network [with] weighting by affinity”. Yahoo has dismissed the new lawsuit saying it is “without merit”.
Ironically, this patent was filed in 2006 by Facebook employee Thyagarajapuram S. Ramakrishnan who has since worked for Yahoo. Both companies have worked together in the past and some commentators have suggested that last month’s legal action was prompted by Facebook’s IPO, expected to take place in May, which could value the company at as much as $100billion.
In documents filed with regulators last month, Facebook said that they expected the number of patent and other intellectual property claims to grow. Facebook said in a statement: "We are 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."