Yahoo has filed a lawsuit against Facebook for violating ten of its patents. You will not be surprised to learn that the patents are for obvious implementations of features that have all been used on literally hundreds if not thousands of Web sites. Facebook is about to generate a huge amount of capital through its IPO and Yahoo has its eye on the loot.
The question people who are concerned about the ongoing damage that patent litigation is inflicting on the technology industry need to be asking is how to make this a political issue that lots of people care about. Everyone I know who’s a technology insider sees this as a hugely important issue, but most people on the outside are hardly aware of it. If you need a refresher on this issue, there’s no better place to start than This American Life episode 441, When Patents Attack!
Jacob Goldstein, who did the This American Life story on patents, has a piece up about the Yahoo lawsuit.