Interesting story hit the wires yesterday. No, NOT the Leader v. Facebook trial that is set to begin in the Federal District Court of Appeals on March 5th . . . (sigh)
|Fig. 1 – Big trouble ahead for the Facebook IPO? Donna Kline reports for Pittsburgh Business Report and is a former reporter for Bloomberg.|
|Fig. 2 – Patent Holder Thomas A. Edison—King of Patent Trolls?|
So, what is the gist of this hypothetical fight against Facebook?
Yahoo is demanding that Facebook enter into a licensing agreement for 10 to 20 patents they hold for items such as advertising, web site personalization, social networking and messaging. One reporter at Forbes estimates that this suit could be worth $3 billion. (Feel free to click this link to comment.)
I am not a tech guru by any means, but until I learn more about these 10-20 patents, I can only see them as ‘widget’ items. None are claims to code for the entire platform on which Facebook is running. (Which is what Leader is claiming.)
Critics are already accusing Yahoo of being another ‘Patent Troll.’ (Leader Technologies and Michael McKibben were accused of the same thing by VentureBeat in 2008. Click this link to read that accusation. See a pattern?) Click this link for one Yahoo criticism in particular. I have several comments for the author at TechCrunch. My immediate thoughts are too crude to post on this site . . . LOL . . . a few folks in his comment section have taken some liberties, though! (Click here to join in the fun!)
When mere threats become news
Again, it remains a mystery to me why a threat to sue Facebook is news, when there is a Leader v. Facebook Federal Circuit Appeals trial in Washington D.C. about to begin that may finally bring public attention to a legitimate patent infringement lawsuit. Remember, Facebook has already been found guilty of patent infringement, their only claim is that Leader’s invention was sold too soon—a claim with no hard evidence to back it up.
I’ll be there for the oral arguments
I am looking forward to hearing the oral arguments in person, March 5th. Tune in to this blog for my immediate reactions, perceptions and commentary after 10am Monday. Also, look for a link to the oral commentary a few hours after the close of session.
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CREDITS: Thomas A. Edison graphic. http://www.buzzle.com/img/articleImages/6730-41.jpg.