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Facebook buys 750 IBM patents in battle with Yahoo

Facebook confirmed Friday that it has added a trove of IBM patents to its arsenal on an increasingly lawsuit-strewn technology battlefield.

Reports that Facebook bought 750 software and networking patents from IBM surfaced less than two weeks after struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! accused the thriving young firm of infringing on 10 of its patents.

“I can confirm that there was a purchase but I don’t have any other details to share,” Facebook spokesman Larry Yu said in response to an AFP inquiry.

IBM would not comment.

Acquisition of the patents came as California-based Facebook prepared for an initial public offering and as Internet titans increasingly battle in courts as well as in marketplaces.

Yahoo!, in a lawsuit filed in US District Court for the Northern District of California on March 12, accused Facebook of infringing on patents in several areas including advertising, privacy and messaging.


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