Yahoo Sues Facebook Over Patents, Just Like it Did When Google Went Public

Yahoo Sues Facebook Over Patents, Just Like it Did When Google Went Public

Yahoo Sues Facebook Over Patents, Just Like it Did When Google Went Public

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March 13 2012 2:39 PM

Yahoo Sues Facebook Over Patents, Just Like it Did When Google Went Public

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(The Yahoo logo is seen on a sign outside of the Yahoo Sunnyvale campus January 22, 2008 in Sunnyvale, California.)

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Has Facebook ever not been fighting a major lawsuit? 

Yahoo is suing the world’s biggest social media giant, alleging Facebook stole a total of 10 patents owned by Yahoo, including its advertising model, newstream, and messaging features.

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Facebook called the 19-page lawsuit puzzling, especially because Yahoo is one of its business partners, and plans to fight the suit. 

Media insiders are equally mystified, wondering if Yahoo is trolling for money. Some wonder if the aggressive tactics against Facebook are stemming from new CEO Scott Thompson.

But the move, and it’s timing, isn’t without precedent. Yahoo retained the same law offices to sue Google just before that company went public in 2004, and scored Google shares valued at around $200 million.

If this doesn't work out, maybe Yahoo and the Winklevoss twins can start a support group for people who sue Facebook and lose. 

Video produced by Krishnan Vasuvedan

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.