updated 11:34 am EDT, Thu May 17, 2012
Yahoo lawyers shown not looking for Facebook affidavit
Yahoo lawyers accusing Facebook of fraudulently filing patents, as part of an ongoing lawsuit, may have been quickly proven wrong. Facebook, accused of deception, appears to have not only proved the Yahoo legal team wrong by producing the required evidence, but also discovered that there were no previous requests for the relevant document in the first place.
Facebook countersued Yahoo in April over ten patents, including a pair that cover a “system for controlled distribution of user profiles over a network” and continued from a patent covering a “method and system for controlled distribution of contact information over a network.” Yahoo alleged that the named inventor of the two patents, Chris Chea, and his patent attorney C. Douglass Thomas failed to disclose a second inventor, Joseph Liauw. Yahoo found Liauw was named as a second “independent inventor” in the application but not in the granted patent, an action that requires a sworn statement in writing, which Yahoo alleged was not filed.
Facebook has shown that the declaration via affidavit was in the records since July 9, 2001. It was also noted that nobody had requested access to the relevant file until Facebook began its own investigation of Yahoo's “intentional deception” claim, suggesting Yahoo attorneys may have failed to properly research the facts behind such allegations.
The escalating legal action between Yahoo and Facebook has led to Facebook buying a rumored 750 patents from IBM and securing 650 AOL patents from Microsoft, and Yahoo adding 16 more patents to the infringement arguement. [via Foss Patents]