Yahoo and Facebook are embroiled in the start of what could be a long legal battle over 10 patents Yahoo claims Facebook has violated through its social networking service but now reports are circulating that Facebook may be collecting a patent war chest of its own.
A new report suggests that the world’s largest social network may have acquired 750 patents from computer-systems giant IBM.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek a “person with knowledge of the transaction” revealed the purchase although the companies have not yet went public.
The move will largely be seen as a defensive maneuver as Facebook attempts to fight about against companies with far larger patent stockpiles. For example Microsoft, Apple and even Yahoo have managed to stockpile thousands of patents while Facebook has registered just 56 patents.
In the meantime Facebook has already applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for at least 500 new patents which have not yet been approved.
In the meantime many innovators have spoken out against the US Patent System which allows silly patents with wording that can be interpreted in a myriad of ways. Company’s now use patents to generate revenue and discourage competition.
This wouldn’t be the first time a company has purchased patents from IBM which sold 217 such patents to Google in January including one patenting for a “semantic social network.”
Do you think Facebook needs to stockpile patents in order to fight back against their competitor’s attempts to stifle its innovation?