Yahoo Going Patent Troll: Threatens Facebook Over Patent Infringement

from the when-you're-young dept

We've said it a bunch of times here in the past when describing the life cycles of tech companies: when you're young, you innovate. When you're old, you litigate. We've seen it time and time again. The big tech companies that are no longer innovating and are far removed from their former position as major players in the market, make one last grasp at relevance by breaking out their patent portfolio and beginning to sue. The latest to take this death knell step appears to be Yahoo, which is threatening to sue Facebook for patent infringement. This may be a sad end to the legacy of Yahoo -- a once innovative company that has made pretty much all the wrong moves over the last half-decade or so, that is now left to snipe at those more innovative and nimble.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 28th, 2012 @ 2:43pm

    So sad, Yahoo...

    First you lost out to Google with the search engines...

    Then you killed Geocities...

    Now this?

    ...

    I'm all nostalgic for Geocities now.

    I'm sad. :(

     

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  2.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 28th, 2012 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Geocities

    Here ya go: Makes any page look like an old geocities page.
    http://wonder-tonic.com/geocitiesizer/

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    fb39ca4, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 2:53pm

    Yahoo is the new AOL.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    GMacGuffin (profile), Feb 28th, 2012 @ 2:55pm

    Re: Re: Geocities

    Now that's handy. Couldn't read any text, but there are lots of crazy colors and fonts! Yay!

    I will add this link to my list of nostalgic indulgences (e.g., Big Macs, Zingers, DOS commands, frames).

     

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  5.  
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    eric e johnson, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 3:04pm

    blame patents, not yahoo

    There is only one thing a patent does. It allows you to sue people. That's all patents have ever done.

    Blame patents, not Yahoo.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 3:08pm

    Re:

    "I'm all nostalgic for Geocities now."

    Then use Yahoo.jp, Geocities are still very much in use over there.

     

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  7.  
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    Beta (profile), Feb 28th, 2012 @ 3:09pm

    Re: blame patents, not yahoo

    Emphasis on allows. Blame Yahoo.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

    Re: blame patents, not yahoo

    We do but we also blame the people who use patents in this manner. You just said "Guns allow you to shoot things. Don't blame murderers blame guns."

     

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  9.  
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    Beta (profile), Feb 28th, 2012 @ 3:17pm

    experiment

    I'd love to plot some curves for these companies, especially total salary paid to engineers, lawyers and executives over time, along with quarterly earnings and indicators for initiating patent lawsuits.

    Am I leaving anything out? Political contributions? HQ building size? Stock price?

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 3:20pm

    What is truly sad is that the comments on the article on ZDnet appear to think that criticism indicates facebook fanboyishness.

    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/facebook/yahoo-threatens-facebook-with-patent-war/9588?t ag=mantle_skin;content

    But then the fanboy accusation gets thrown around on ZDnet in much the same way as gay gets thrown around in an elementary school playground and apparently by people at or about the same stage of development.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 3:25pm

    As someone who despises both Yahoo and Facebook..

    ...I'm entirely in favor of this. Well, provided it becomes an all-consuming fight that uses up all their resources and leaves them both empty shells of their former selves. I will be very disappointed if this ends quickly and amicably.

     

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  12.  
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    Doug B (profile), Feb 28th, 2012 @ 3:35pm

    There was never a point in time that I thought yahoo was innovative. The website annoyed me from the first time I happened across it. I still don't understand how it ever gained the users it did.

     

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  13.  
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    PlagueSD (profile), Feb 28th, 2012 @ 3:41pm

    Is it me, or is this just coincidence that this is happening soon after Facebook announced it was going public.

     

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  14.  
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    Suja (profile), Feb 28th, 2012 @ 3:46pm

    Re: Re: Geocities

    Okay is funny, that thing is spot on!

     

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  15.  
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    Suja (profile), Feb 28th, 2012 @ 3:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Geocities

    **that is

     

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  16.  
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    illuminaut (profile), Feb 28th, 2012 @ 3:58pm

    Re:

    Their development resources including the YUI library used to be cutting edge. That's pretty much it already, tho.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    illuminaut (profile), Feb 28th, 2012 @ 4:07pm

    Re: Re: blame patents, not yahoo

    That analogy doesn't quite hold up since patents are weapons that are used lawfully. So by changing the laws you can actually take away the weapons. Try that with guns.

     

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  18.  
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    Gracey (profile), Feb 28th, 2012 @ 4:53pm

    Re:

    geeze. Yahoo didn't kill geocities. The users with those horrendous web designs killed geocities.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    stever, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 5:25pm

    Patents Patents and more Patents

    The thing I love most about these fights is that the idea that may have been copied is not central to the product or even slightly important. Apples protecting the touch slider to open concept for example. As such you have to condem such actions as being vexatious, and little more than a desparate grab for money. However if the things are not like that (chances are that they are though) then go Yahoo. We really dont want the term copyright to become a copy it right mentality.

     

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  20.  
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    jig, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 5:26pm

    Re: blame patents, not yahoo

    You sir are an ass clown

     

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  21.  
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    Shmerl, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 7:35pm

    Yahoo became a patent troll? Time to go for them then. They were respected before, but this behavior is unacceptable.

     

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  22.  
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    Loki, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 8:39pm

    Re: Re:

    "Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it".

    See MySpace

     

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  23.  
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    Loki, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 8:56pm

    Actually this could become a self-correcting problem. Eventually the "right" people are likely to take note of the innovate-to-litigate phenomena as a sign a company is dying and the minute they start patent trolling their stock will tank faster than Congress's approval ratings.

    All it would take is a maybe 2-3 companies to bottom out like that and see how hesitant the rest get to unzipper those patent portfolios and wave them around.

     

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  24.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 28th, 2012 @ 9:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: blame patents, not yahoo

    That analogy doesn't quite hold up since patents are weapons that are used lawfully. So by changing the laws you can actually take away the weapons. Try that with guns.

    Huh? I use guns lawfully. A lot of people do the same. Ever been to a rifle range or a shooting range? Just because someone shoots a gun doesn't necessarily mean that they have committed a crime. If they shoot at someone, yes, but if they shoot down range at harmless pieces of paper, nope...not usually.

     

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  25.  
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    Webster Phreaky, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 9:49pm

    WHO'S THE REAL TROLLS???

    HOW COME WHEN IT'S GREEDY BASTARDS CrAPPLE SUING EVERYONE THEY'RE NOT TROLLS, but when it's Yahoo!! they are???

    You're F*&KING HYPOCRITES! YOU ARE THE TROLLS!!

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 9:50pm

    Re: WHO'S THE REAL TROLLS???

    Is there no longer an app for reading comprehension?

     

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  27.  
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    Vincent Clement, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 4:22am

    Re: WHO'S THE REAL TROLLS???

    Apple is a hybrid troll. A successful company that uses patents to increase the cost of doing business for it's competitors.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    Tim K (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 5:41am

    Re: WHO'S THE REAL TROLLS???

    Who said apple wasn't a troll? They can be a troll and still innovate, but yahoo is lacking the innovation part.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    Some Other AC (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 7:59am

    Re: WHO'S THE REAL TROLLS???

    You sir, need serious anger management work. Please read both this article and the many others on this site.

    "The big tech companies that are no longer innovating and are far removed from their former position as major players in the market, make one last grasp at relevance by breaking out their patent portfolio and beginning to sue."

    This statement alone calls out numerous companies that have taken this same path.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
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    while Im at it, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 1:30pm

    Here's to hoping

    both of these companies sue each other into oblivion.

     

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  31.  
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    illuminaut (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: blame patents, not yahoo

    You misunderstood. I was saying that you can't keep guns away from criminals but you can keep patents away from corporations since they actually have to follow the law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 6:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: blame patents, not yahoo

    You misunderstood. I was saying that you can't keep guns away from criminals but you can keep patents away from corporations since they actually have to follow the law.

    Yup. I've got an itchy trigger finger when it comes to the 2nd amendment. Re-reading what you said, I misunderstood.

    Though it is kinda interesting that some states are doing everything in their power to limit the 2nd amendment even though, as you say (and I agree,) you can't keep guns away from criminals.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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