Yahoo, Facebook said to be in talks to settle patents dispute

Yahoo and Facebook are in negotiations to resolve a patents dispute, an attorney for Yahoo told a federal court on Tuesday.

“The parties are currently engaged in settlement negotiations to resolve this dispute,” attorney Kevin A. Smith said in a filing before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco division, while asking for more time for certain filings by both Yahoo and Facebook.

“The parties believe that a further extension will facilitate settlement,” Smith said in the filing.

Yahoo sued Facebook in March claiming that it had infringed ten of its patents. Facebook denied Yahoo’s claim of patent infringement, and in turn accused Yahoo of infringing ten of its patents in several of Yahoo’s most popular services including the Yahoo homepage, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports and the Flickr photo sharing service.

Yahoo said in a filing in April that Facebook purchased in the last five months eight of ten patents it had cited in its counterclaim to the patent infringement lawsuit filed by Yahoo, and several were purchased after Yahoo filed the suit.

Yahoo denied infringing the ten patents, and claimed Facebook purchased and asserted patents tainted by inequitable conduct, including allegedly the intentional failure to name a known inventor, and adding new information to a patent.
 It added two more patents to the ten it had earlier alleged Facebook had infringed.

District Court Judge Jeffrey S. White on Wednesday ruled that it is stipulated and agreed upon by both parties to extend the dates for submissions by both Yahoo and Facebook. A hearing on a motion has also been rescheduled from August 10 to August 24.

Facebook was not immediately available for comment.

[John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John’s email address is john_ribeiro@idg.com.]

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