Facebook buys 750 IBM patents

Facebook has acquired hundreds of patents from International Business Machines Corp as the social networking company attempts to bolster its intellectual property portfolio in the wake of a lawsuit filed by Yahoo

March 23, 2012
facebook_icon_logo

Facebook has acquired hundreds of patents from International Business Machines Corp as the social networking company attempts to bolster its intellectual property portfolio in the wake of a lawsuit filed by Yahoo.

The 750 patents from IBM cover a broad range of technology, ranging from search to semiconductors, according to a person familiar with the matter. A Facebook spokeswoman said the company had no comment, and an IBM representative could not immediately be reached.

Yahoo sued Facebook earlier this month, claiming that Facebook infringed 10 patents, including several that cover online advertising technology.

A classic defense for companies targeted with patent claims is to threaten a countersuit using its own patents. But Yahoo possesses far more patents than Facebook. Before the IBM transaction, Yahoo had over 3,300 patents and published patent applications, according to a U.S. government database.

Facebook had 56 issued patents and 503 applications as of December 31, the company said in a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Facebook, the world’s largest Internet social networking service, is preparing for an initial public offering that could value the company at up to $100 billion.

It is unclear how much Facebook paid for the IBM patents, but tech companies seeking to build their portfolios have pushed intellectual property prices higher. Google agreed to buy Motorola Mobility last summer for $12.5 billion, and said Motorola’s patents were a prime attraction.

That deal came after Nortel Networks Corp sold about 6,000 patents to an Apple Inc-led consortium for $4.5 billion, after Google bowed out of the bidding.

IBM’s transaction with Facebook was first reported by Bloomberg.

Tags: Active, Apple, facebook, Google, Motorola, Nortel, Yahoo!

Free Email Newsletter:
Subscribe

Shutterstock is the image partner of MyBroadband – technology images can be found here

Join the conversation

Connect with MyBB

twitterfacebookandroidappleblackberrynewsletterfeed

Poll

What is the average broadband speed which you experience?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

Big gadget and tech specials

Sale

South Africans can save lots of money on a wide range of gadgets and tech products this weekend

Neotel hosting billing concerns

Neotel

Neotel data centre bandwidth and power consumption misreporting issues have been fixed

Eskom employees arrested over transformer theft

Eskom

Two Eskom employees have been arrested in Karen Park, Pretoria, for allegedly stealing six transformers with an estimated value of R650,000, police said on Friday

Digital TV decoder subsidy details published

Non-compliant DVB-T2 set-top box in South Africa

Signs of movement around South Africa’s migration to digital terrestrial television are welcomed, the DA said

Free MyBroadband Newsletter:
Subscribe
X
bool(true)