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Developments in Facebook-Yahoo patent dispute

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 4:58pm
The Associated Press

On Friday, Yahoo and Facebook said they have agreed to settle their patent dispute and drop lawsuits against each other.

Here are developments leading to that:

Feb. 28: Yahoo Inc. confirms that it is threatening to sue Facebook Inc. if it doesn't reach an agreement over patents.

March 12: Yahoo sues Facebook, claiming that Facebook has infringed 10 of its patents covering advertising, privacy controls and social networking. The lawsuit is filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif. It seeks unspecified damages.

March 22: Facebook confirms it bought patents from IBM Corp. The 750 patents cover technologies that deal with software and networking.

April 3: Facebook files its own lawsuit against Yahoo, accusing the struggling Internet pioneer of violating 10 patents covering photo tagging, advertising, online recommendations and more. The case is filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

April 9: Microsoft announces that it is buying hundreds of patents from AOL Inc. in an auction and licensing others from AOL for $1 billion.

April 23: Microsoft and Facebook announce that Microsoft is selling about 650 of the 925 AOL patents and patent applications to Facebook for $550 million. They also agree to a cross-licensing arrangement for the AOL patents they now own.

April 27: Yahoo escalates dispute by filing two additional patent claims, bringing total to 12.

May 13: Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson is out after questions arise over misstatements in his official biography. That paves the way for the companies to hold settlement talks.

Friday: Facebook and Yahoo agree to settlement. They are licensing their patents to each other, with no money exchanged. The companies also announce an advertising alliance that expands their existing partnership.

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