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

By - 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.

Forum discussion

Shutterstock is the image partner of MyBroadband – more technology images

Join the conversation

Connect with Us

androidappletwitterfacebookgoogleplusfeednewsletter

Poll

How would you describe your broadband service?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

Huawei launches first Digital inCloud centre in Africa

Data centre servers that glow blue

Huawei has launched its Digital inCloud Eastern and Southern Africa regional centre at the 5th Annual VAS Africa summit.

MTN strike continues

MTN store logo

Strike action against South Africa’s second-biggest mobile network MTN has not ended yet, the company confirmed on Tuesday.

We are not using e-tolls to spy on you: Sanral

E-Toll logo

Sanral is not using e-tolls to spy on South Africans, said Sanral spokesman Vusi Mona.

Smart Village cuts broadband prices

Smart Village

Fibre-to-the-home provider Smart Village has reduced the price of its broadband products.

X

Newsletter Subscription


Name
Email *
Enter the following to confirm your subscription *
Captcha image


Free MyBroadband Newsletter
Subscribe
X
bool(true)