Facebook serves Yahoo with counter-suit claiming infringement on 10 patents

Facebook has responded to Yahoo’s patent infringement suit with counterclaims that Yahoo infringes upon 10 of the social network’s patents, according to All Things D.

The company asks the court to dismiss Yahoo’s case and instead find Yahoo guilty of infringing on Facebook’s patents. Additionally, Facebook is requesting that Yahoo be prevented from further infringing on patents and that the Internet company pay damages and legal fees.

This is a strong response to what many saw as a cheap shot by Yahoo. Yahoo took similar actions against Google before the search company’s initial public offering in 2004, and collected 1 percent of Google stock worth about $230 million at Google’s IPO price. However, the counter-suit could result in more costs and potentially delay the social network’s IPO.

“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,” Facebook general counsel Ted Ullyot said in a statement.

Facebook claims Yahoo infringes on the following patents it has been granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office:

  • “Generating a Feed of Stories Personalized for Members of a Social Network”
  • “Tagging Digital Media”
  • “Headline Posting Algorithm”
  • “Method for Enabling a User to Fetch a Specific Information Item from a Set of Information Items and a System for Carrying Out Such a Method”
  • “Customizing Database Information for Presentation with Media Selections” “System and Method for Dynamic Profiling of Users in One-to-One Applications” “System and Method for Dynamic Profiling of Users in One-to-One Applications and for Validating User Rules”
  • “Architectures, Systems, Apparatus, Methods, and Computer- Readable Medium for Providing Recommendations to Users and Applications Using Multidimensional Data”
  • “System for Controlled Distribution of User Profiles Over a Network”
  • U.S. Patent No. 8,150,913, which was granted today and is also titled “System for Controlled Distribution of User Profiles Over a Network”

Along with the counter-claims, Facebook denied allegations that it infringes upon 10 of Yahoo’s patents related to advertising, privacy, customization, messaging and social networking. Yahoo filed its lawsuit in mid-March for Facebook to be permanently prevented from further infringing on Yahoo’s patents and to pay damages and legal fees.

[Update: Yahoo said 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."]

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