16 thoughts on “Yahoo-Facebook patent fight: more than meets the eye”

  1. Facebook is great but let us not forget bulletin board systems or b.b.s from the early 1970s …….. They are the webs original social network

  2. Hi,

    The sad thing is, that as irrelevant as the digerati think Yahoo is, across the broader Internet userbase (those normal people in non-tech jobs), the people that Yahoo originally helped navigate on the open web, and helped give traction to both the likes of Facebook and Google, Yahoo really has the potential to be one of the alternative stools alongside Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft in the Digital sphere, if only it would pull its socks up.

    It really isn’t hard, just a question of strategic intent. and remembering Yahoo!’s History.

    On the patent front, yes they’re not ideal, but fact is Facebook has done a whole load of things lorded as innovative which aren’t, pincus and zuckerberg aren’t known to be the most ethical yet have made enough money out of non-virtuous behaviour, Amazon owns one-click, Apple thinks it owns swipe to unlock, in the 90’s Yahoo was as exciting as any other start-up from the 2000’/google in terms of working on the webs innovations, you can’t blame the new management for using whatever they have in the barrel to lay some extra road in front of them………….

    Of course, if they were to get an injunction on trade/access the way Apple has for hardware patent infringement, and then get an equity stake in return for removing that injunction for the rights to those patents for Facebook, it would be the greatest act of Lazuras in the post web2.0 era.

    It can be done.

    It benefits none of us, when the connected population exceeds 2bn humans, to believe there should only be a handful of sector leaders, let alone one social network or identity provider, forgetting all the earlier battles for an open and equal internet (e.g. see msn/microsoft passport); when there are 100’s of tv stations in smaller countries, newspapers, utility providers, et al, the only reason people think the internet needs single-market leaders is simply because of the laziness/ignorance of the media in telling new users of the variety of alternative options, i.e. there should be multiple federated soc.nets, video-hosts, etc. just as Amazon hasn’t been allowed to be the only online store, which would be a preposterous proposition!

    [/tangent_rant over]

    Also, lets not forget, that while mindshare is so important in sentiment of energy and innovative progress for web companies, so many are aided by cynical PR, insider-ism and conflicts of interest, hype, personal friendships and fashions where the latest coolest web companies can depend on free press and added awareness/traction, that the likes of Yahoo long lost, while the likes of the social networks were freely given access to and able to better harness……………..

    Yours kindly,

    Shakir Razak

    One possible strategic route, not the only one, I have many thoughts on Yahoo:


    1. The court of public opinion will relegate Yahoo to Myspace relevancy in the end. This just accelerates the process. Facebook is the evil 800 lb Gorilla in the room you can no longer do anything about! People like to talk about how Google now does Evil, well if FB hadnt backed all these players into a corner with their bully tactics and shady practices, do you think the claws would have had to come out?

      No! Its a shame no one every bitch slapped Zuckerberg, lord knows he derserves it!

  3. Yahoo wants in on that Facebook IPO. They did the same thing to Google eight years ago before their IPO.

    1. And Google paid giving credence to the litigation. Yahoo! wouldn’t do this if they didn’t think there was merit in their claims. They aren’t stupid. Facebook as run afoul of a lot of companies and that can only last so long. If Yahoo! didn’t enforce these patents, they would be doing a disservice to their shareholders opening themselves up to litigation.

      When Google settled the initial suit, Yahoo! ultimately made $1 Billion on the sale of that stock. Do you honestly think they would walk away from a similar pay out because a bunch of people think they shouldn’t?

      Most of the people that are coming out saying Yahoo! shouldn’t do this probably have a reason to be concerned. I would venture to say that the Venture Capitalists that are coming out against this are investors in Facebook or another company that could be sued by Yahoo! for the same reasons.

      Yahoo! is a stagnant company that needs a shot in the arm. It’s not a dying company. They’re a company without a consistent identity. They are a media company with a tech infrastructure that thinks it is a technology company. Everyone thought AOL would die, but it’s still around. Yahoo! has too many eyeballs and visitors to die. They may get acquired, but Yahoo! is one of those brands that won’t just disappear. They’ll get lumped into comfort brands like Johnson & Johnson, Sara Lee, and Allstate. All notable, but they aren’t sexy innovators.

      Google used to be a hot brand, but they are now finding themselves falling into the commodity brand category.

      Yahoo!’s actions, whether you like them or not, will have repercussions far beyond this suit with Facebook. The internet is still the Wild West. Legislators are trying to figure out what to do when it comes to lawlessness on the WWW, until then, companies have to legislate themselves. Facebook in this case is the Outlaw that stole Yahoo!’s cattle…and Yahoo! wants them back.

  4. Yahoo needs to do something innovative. They are always second in releasing products and their products are always second rate. Their web-mail UI still looks 10 years old.

    And the patents that are being used to sue FB, are ridiculous. US patent offices must be full of mindless people!

  5. This litigation strategy is entirely the doing of Scott Thompson. He is going to attempt to wring every cent out of Yahoo before he leaves. Watch what he does with Yahoo’s Chinese assets.

  6. “In order to tap into address books, rivals would have had to build their own importers, no small feat in itself.”

    No small feat? Are you sure about that?
    The code would take a few hours at most to write. Then all you would need is a few dozen servers. I could have all the data inside of a month, while spending less than $5,000 to lease the servers.

    Just saying.

  7. people will recall, yahoo sued google on the eve of google’s ipo.
    got a settlement and probably some valuable options/shares for the yahoo managers. I will not be surprised if the fellows at yahoo are looking to add that extra buck to its reserves. After all, the facebook kingdom is worth a lot more than the google 🙂

  8. A whole too many people in the Valley have a vested interest that NOTHING comes anywhere close to disturb the almighty Facebook IPO. Too many FB fan boys have stakes in it.

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