Yahoo, Facebook Holding Settlement Talks for Patent Case

Yahoo, Facebook Holding Settlement Talks for Patent Case

In a court filing on Tuesday, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) disclosed it is conducting talks with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to solve  their patent-infringement dispute.

Yahoo’s attorneys asked for a two-week extension with U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White in San Francisco as it file replies for the lawsuit while conducting settlement discussions. In addition, the legal team also asked for a two-week delay in a motion hearing; it now has an Aug. 10 date.

According to Kevin Smith, one of Yahoo’s lawyers, wrote in the filing “The parties are currently engaged in settlement negotiations to resolve this dispute. The parties believe that a further extension will facilitate settlement.”

So what is the lawsuit again? In March, Yahoo sued Facebook and alleged that the company infringed on patents that cover Internet privacy, advertising and information sharing. In April, Facebook countersued by accusing Yahoo of infringing on 10 of its patents.

The suit comes as Yahoo was attempting to find new revenue sources driven by its new Chief Executive Scott Thompson; he joined in Yahoo in January.

The suit was somewhat of a surprise but technology companies similar to Yahoo have previously complained about “frivolous patent litigation,” however, when Yahoo filed its suit, it said the move needed to be done to protect its inventions, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Since the time of the suit, things have changed for both companies, especially in May. Yahoo’s chief executive Scott Thompson resigned due to misstatements on his academic record while Facebook went through a much-talked about IPO.

Both companies had their spokespeople decline comment on the delays, reported Bloomberg.


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