Facebook Has To Waste Money On 750 IBM Patents Just To Ward Off Other Patent Lawsuits

from the play-the-game,-waste-money dept

It's been a pretty open secret for quite some time that Facebook is actively in the market to buy a bunch of patents, and now it's done its first big deal, scoring 750 patents from IBM to add to the 56 patents it currently has (some of which it purchased, and some of which it applied for). There's been plenty of talk about people who don't really know much about patents about how Facebook "needs" more patents, and the ridiculous Yahoo lawsuit only increased the attention the issue is getting. Plus, there are some investors who still -- for whatever reason -- think that the number of patents in a portfolio are a reasonable proxy for innovation or the ability to control a market. Of course, none of these patents will help Facebook against its most common legal foe: the patent troll. They're really only useful either against other operating companies (to ward off patent nuclear war cross-suits) or if Facebook decides to become obnoxious like Yahoo and start suing others offensively.

What this really shows is just how broken the patent system is. Facebook basically just had to waste a large chunk of money on a bunch of patents that have nothing to do with innovation, which won't help Facebook provide a better product for its users and which will only serve to create more money for lawyers somewhere down the road. That's not a healthy system. That's not an efficient system, and it's not one that's good for innovation or economic growth.

Filed Under: defense, inefficiency, patents, waste
Companies: facebook, ibm, yahoo


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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    darryl, 22 Mar 2012 @ 11:31pm

    "the masnick" has spoken.

    What this really shows is just how broken the patent system is. Facebook basically just had to waste a large chunk of money on a bunch of patents that have nothing to do with innovation,

    Let me guess Masnick, you have read (and understood) all those patents and by some form of "masnick magic" you have deemed ALL OF THEM to have nothing to do with innovation !!!

    which won't help Facebook provide a better product for its users again, based on WHAT ???? have you as evidence to show your readers you are not full of shit ?

    so facebook has at least 806 patents, that you have studied and with your superior technical abilities (as shown by the quality of Techdirt) you have performed a detailed analysis of all those patents, and provided your sage advise to your equally (un)-educated plebs who you think that if 'the masnick says something, it must have come directly from the work of our mighty Allah !

    have you even looked at ONE of the patents ? I guess not, have you ever actually read a patent ?

    If so how can you claim you 'know' the patent system ?

    what technical, engineering or legal experience do you have to confirm your errant statements ?

    If the quality of this web site is an indication of your 'technical skills' then you dont have to bother providing an answer, as that speaks well enough for itself.

    You dont have a clue, and what is worse than that, you dont even have a clue that you dont have a clue. I guess you have allready accepted that most people who have bothered to read you know what you are and what you ARE NOT, they (we) are aware you have given up any hope of earning any respect, but as long as you get your Google kickback who cares right !!

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