Saturday, April 28, 2012
Facebook’s Patent Acquisitions? They’re More About Google Than Yahoo
In the past few months, Facebook’s patent portfolio has grown exponentially as a result of acquisitions of patent portfolios from IBM and Microsoft. After acquiring 650 AOL patents and patent applications from Microsoft, the company now has approximately 1,400 patent assets. Amazingly, only 46 of these assets (24 issued patents and 22 published applications) were originally filed by Facebook. In recent years, Facebook has consistently looked to the outside to augment its IP holdings with strategic acquisitions of patent assets. The company paid 40 million for the Friendster social networking patent portfolio, acquired a group of patents from Walker Digital, and another from Hewlett-Packard. These deals expanded the portfolio to approximately 160 patent assets prior to Yahoo’s lawsuit being filed. After Facebook’s IPO decision, and the subsequent patent suit by Yahoo, Facebook has kicked its patent acquisition program into overdrive.