Yahoo suing Facebook over social networking patents

Yahoo suing Facebook over social networking patents
My patents! Mine!

Yahoo has decided that it would be a good idea to sue Facebook because – get this – Yahoo actually came up with and patented the "entire social network model".

Yahoo's lawsuit, which it first threatened Facebook with earlier this year, covers the Facebook news feed, advertising methods, messaging tools and even its sometime controversial privacy settings.

"Facebook's entire social network model, which allows users to create profiles for and connect with, among other things, persons and businesses, is based on Yahoo's patented social networking technology," Yahoo's lawsuit reads.

The search engine goes as far as to say that Facebook has been "free riding" on Yahoo's patents for years, hinting that Yahoo wants a little more than just royalty payments – in fact, it wants triple damages as well as to stop Facebook using the patents altogether.

Maybe they'll rename it Facebook!

It seems that Yahoo's aggressive court-based tactics aren't sitting too well with its employees, with All Things D reporting that many "top techies" at Yahoo not in favour of the move.

But newly minted CEO Scott Thompson appears to be driving the push, presumably for the cash and the handy side benefit of damaging Facebook's IPO action.

Facebook, meanwhile, is feeling sad, disappointed and betrayed: "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," the social network said in the statement.

"Once again, we learned of Yahoo's decision simultaneously with the media. We will defend ourselves vigorously against these puzzling actions."

First it was the Winklevoss twins' idea, then it was Mark Zuckerberg's, then it was some random New Yorker's and now it turns out that Facebook was actually Yahoo's idea all along.

Hey, someone should make a film about this…

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.