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Yahoo Demands Facebook License its Patents or Else

Another front opened in the mushrooming patent wars late Monday

Another front opened in the mushrooming patent wars late Monday when Yahoo accused Facebook of infringing its patents and threatened to sue if Facebook doesn’t pay licensing fees.

Facebook is in the early throes of a giant $75 billion-$100 billion IPO, which is supposed to explain Yahoo’s timing.

It’s thought Facebook may be pliable enough to settle up to avoid publicity right now. The AP remembers that Yahoo made a killing on a patent settlement with Google worth hundreds of millions of dollars right before Google went public.

Facebook says it’s evaluating the claims. The companies reportedly spoke on Monday.

The blogosphere is outraged that a floundering, outdated, un-innovative outfit like Yahoo would go after one of its pets.

Yahoo apparently contacted the New York Times at the same time it put Facebook on notice. It’s reportedly asserting claims to the technology behind Facebook’s ad, privacy controls, news feeds and messaging service ampng other things. The Times said 10-20 patents are involved, IP that other companies have reportedly licensed.

The paper pointed out that Yahoo’s patents are supposed to be just about the most valuable around in communications and Internet services, quoting thee IEEE publication IEEE Spectrum.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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