Yahoo has put Facebook on notice over what it terms as patent rights violations. The company has written to the social media giant telling them that they would have to obtain licenses from Yahoo for a number of patents they have infringed on or face litigation. This comes when Facebook is arduously preparing for its record IPO that is yet to be given the go-ahead by the FCC.
But Yahoo seem to be growing desperate as their business is pummelled from all quarters. First it was its search business which went away with Google, followed by its ad business which is slowly leaching away to Google and new entrant Facebook but the biggest challenge has to be a sort of flatfootedness that company got that has got them lame and unable to move forward with any new catching innovation.
The company was recently caught up in a buyout tussle with Alibaba where the deal fell through probably because Yahoo offered unreasonable conditions. This new patent trolling tactic is very similar to what Yahoo did to Google pre-IPO when the company orchestrated a shakedown of the then-young company that eventually saw Google part with 2.7 million shares.
This shakedown of Facebook reeks of mischief even more because Facebook and Yahoo have enjoyed cordial relations with Facebook helping revamp traffic to Yahoo websites but Yahoo struck in the midst of this amiability with ruthless precision. The company contacted Facebook and at the same time sent word to the New York Times, something that puts bad blood between the two companies.
It quite unfortunate especially after Facebook just recently congratulated Yahoo on their newly achieved success on how Facebook’s Open Graph protocol had helped Yahoo’s news reader app gain 25 million users, including 2 million each day, and more than 500,000 referrals a day.