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Yahoo! and Facebook settle patent battle

11th July 2012

The internet giants Yahoo! and Facebook have reached a truce in their bitter patent dispute, after mediation from a number of solicitors with senior legal jobs in US-headquartered litigation firms.

Competing lawsuits were filed by both firms earlier this year, but all actions have now been dropped as the companies agreed that their financial and time resources would be better spent forging an advertising alliance instead.

The case stemmed from an allegation of patent abuse made by Yahoo! in March, which accused Facebook of infringing a selection of the search engine’s intellectual property material, including that related to privacy and information sharing.

Facebook consequently issued a counter-action, although the social networking website’s general counsel, Ted Ullyot, admitted at the time that this was essentially only made in retaliation for what he called Yahoo!’s own ‘short-sighted’ litigation.

Some have laid the blame for the costly case at the door of Scott Thompson, former CEO of Yahoo! who was swiftly dismissed when it was discovered he had lied about holding a computer science degree.