Facebook Purchases Hundreds of IBM Patents

April 2, 2012, by Mandour & Associates, APC

Los Angeles – As Facebook prepares for a legal battle against Yahoo over patent infringement, it has just recently boosted its intellectual property portfolio by purchasing hundreds of patents from International Business Machines Corp., better known as IBM. Facebook purchased about 750 technology patents from IBM including patents ranging from software to networking.

The purchase comes at a high-profile time for Facebook. Last month, Facebook received notice from Yahoo claiming that it had been infringing on about 10 patents including advertising and online messaging patents. Unable to reach any sort of agreement, earlier this month Yahoo filed a lawsuit against Facebook for patent infringement. It would appear as if Facebook is looking to reach a settlement with Yahoo before its up and coming IPO. Facebook has said that it is “puzzled” by the lawsuit. Yahoo has asked the court for an order which would bar Facebook from any further infringement on its patents as well as compensation for damages. According to LegalMetric.com, in 2011 Facebook was faced with 22 patent lawsuits.

Not only is the social networking giant facing a legal battle in court but it is also nearing an initial public stock offering which is said to be valued at about $100 billion.

Although Facebook, an eight-year old company, has about 850 million active users, at the end of 2011 it had only 56 U.S. patents. This isn’t the first time a company from Silicon Valley has turned to IBM to beef up its intellectual property. Thousands of IBM patents have been purchased by Google as well. There is no question that IBM has an extraordinary track record when it comes to patents. It not only received about 6,100 new patents just in 2011 alone but IBM has also made it to the top of the U.S. patent recipients list for almost twenty years straight.

A Facebook representative confirmed the purchase from IBM but declined to comment further. IBM has declined to comment on the report.