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Facebook Buys 750 Patents from IBM

Social media giants Facebook have splashed the cash in a massive shopping spree that has seen them take 750 patents off the IBM shelves.

The patents bought (which are rumoured to have cost Facebook hundreds of millions of dollars) are said to cover a “wide variety of software and networking technologies”.

It’s thought that the company’s lack of patents previously had meant that they left themselves open to claims from other companies with little or no defense. Facebook had just 60 US patents in place so an extra 750 is a sizable addition.

And yet, even this number is relatively low for a company of Facebook’s size. In comparison, last year Google took a stroll down the IBM isles and stocked up on over 2000 patents.

Too Little, Too Late

This raid of the IBM patent shelves comes just 1 week after Yahoo began legal proceedings against Facebook. Coincidence? We think not.

Yahoo claim that:

“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”

It seems lawsuits are all the rage in the tech world these days so big companies like Facebook need to be well protected. Speculation is that, buried within these 750 patents Facebook have bought, is something that could pose a counter argument to Yahoo’s claim.

Too little too late for this battle, maybe. But better late than never.