Yahoo Accuses Facebook of Patent Violations

Dennis Faas's picture

Yahoo is taking Facebook to court for violating approximately ten patents related to Internet advertising systems. It's the first patent showdown between these two web companies.

The lawsuit has been filed in a San Jose, California federal court. Yahoo is reportedly represented by the law firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, which has previously been employed by Google for similar patent cases.

Suit: Facebook Stole Yahoo Advertising Ideas

In its filing, Yahoo accuses Facebook of stealing ideas for advertising the social networking site.

The lawsuit reportedly claims that Facebook was "one of the worst performing sites for advertising" before it began using some of Yahoo's patented marketing concepts.

The lawsuit also targets Facebook founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg, noting that he "has conceded that the design of Facebook is not novel and is based on the ideas of others." (Source:

Facebook Says Yahoo Suit Is "Puzzling"

Facebook says it learned of the lawsuit only through the media.

"We're 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," said Facebook spokesman Jonathan Thaw.

Thaw added that his company found Yahoo's actions "puzzling". (Source:

In its own statement, Yahoo appeared regretful about having to file the lawsuit, but seemed confident of ultimately winning the case when it goes to court.

"Unfortunately, the matter with Facebook remains unresolved and we are compelled to seek redress in federal court," a Yahoo spokesperson said. (Source:

According to industry analyst firm eMarketer, Yahoo was the Internet leader in display advertising until last year, when Facebook surpassed it.

Since that time, Yahoo has fallen to third in those rankings, having been overtaken by both Facebook and Google.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet