Yahoo Inc. is suing Facebook, following through on a threat made last month. Yahoo alleges Facebook has infringed on 10 of its patents covering advertising, privacy controls, and social networking.
Facebook pledged to defend itself vigorously against what it called “puzzling actions’’ by Yahoo. “We’re disappointed that Yahoo, a longtime business partner of Facebook and a company that has substantially benefited from its association with Facebook, has decided to resort to litigation,’’ Facebook said.
The claims could cast a spotlight on Facebook’s vulnerabilities as it tries to complete an initial public offering of stock this spring. At the end of 2011, 56 US patents had been issued to Facebook – a relatively small number, compared with other big tech companies. Yahoo owns more than 1,000 patents.
Yahoo said it has invested “substantial resources in research and development’’ that have led to patents other companies have licensed.
Yahoo got hundreds of millions of dollars from a patent settlement with Google Inc. just before that company went public in 2004. …