Facebook Inc. and Yahoo Inc. have agreed to forge a broad Internet advertising and licensing partnership, putting to rest their dueling patent lawsuits. The pact settles accusations of technology patent infringement that began under the stewardship of ex-Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson. As you may recall, Thompson was ousted after a scandal erupted over inaccuracies in his resume. According to Reuters, interim CEO Ross Levinsohn is now the front runner for the top job at Yahoo. Facebook’s and Yahoo’s strategic deal — which expands an existing multi-year tie-up that involved mainly allowing Facebook users to share Yahoo content — encompasses cross-licensing of patents and collaboration on advertising offerings during major media events such as the Olympics and theannual Super Bowl.
Yahoo’s lawsuit had invited some criticism that it was trying to force a settlement from a company about to go public in what has been described as “Silicon Valley’s largest coming-out party.” Yahoo sued Facebook in March, claiming the number one social networking company infringed ten patents including several that cover online advertising technology. In its lawsuit, Yahoo said Facebook was considered “one of the worst performing sites for advertising” prior to adopting Yahoo’s ideas. Facebook, which went public in May, filed a countersuit of its own against Yahoo a month later. It called Yahoo short-sighted for its decision to prioritize “litigation over innovation.” Reportedly, Facebook has been very active beefing up its patents arsenal. In April, it announced a deal to pay Microsoft Corp. $550 million for hundreds of patents that originated with AOL.
Source: Claims Journal
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