This is galling.Yahoo, which, thanks to poor product launches and minimal innovation, has been unable to grow its revenues for quite some time now, has suddenly found a new line of business: patent trolling.
According to the New York Times, Yahoo claims Facebook is infringing on 10 to 20 of Yahoo’s patents over technologies that include “advertising, the personalisation of Web sites, social networking and messaging.”
Yahoo execs met with Facebook execs today to break the bad news – and ask for a liscening fee.
In a statement given to the Times, Yahoo said:
“Yahoo has a responsibility to its shareholders, employees and other stakeholders to protect its intellectual property. We must insist that Facebook either enter into a licensing agreement or we will be compelled to move forward unilaterally to protect our rights.”
What Yahoo owes its shareholders is focus – preferably on its media business.
What Yahoo owes its employees is a place they can be proud to work for – not some shakedown factory.
When new Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson took over, he said he would diversify revenues and put Yahoo into new businesses. Who knew he meant something so sleazy.
Yahoo has as much claim to the invention of social networking as we do, which is to say none.
Who knew Thompson would make us miss Jerry Yang. For all his faults, he’d never do something like this.
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