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Yahoo Unloads Extreme Irony With Latest Facebook Attack

•, By Cade Metz
Companies should innovate, they said, not litigate.

But Yahoo has now taken its Facebook spat a step further, sending a letter claiming that Mark Zuckerberg and company may be infringing on 16 other Yahoo patents in using several open source technologies inside the data centers that underpin their massive social network. This doesn’t just violate the hacker ethic. It ventures into the realm of extreme irony.

Yahoo’s online empire, you see, is built atop data center technology patented by Google.

On Thursday, in a filing related to its initial public offering, Facebook revealed that Yahoo recently sent it a letter saying that 16 Yahoo patents “may be relevant” to the hardware and software running inside Facebook’s data centers. Yahoo declined to comment on the filing, but Wired has seen a copy of the letter, and it specifically points to four open source technologies used by Facebook, including its Open Compute Project data center designs, its HipHop platform for speeding software code, its Tornado web server, and memcached, a data-caching platform that was developed outside of Facebook.

“We also understand that at least one former Yahoo! employee who had responsibility in connection with Yahoo!’s data centers now has responsibility over the operations of Facebook’s data centers,” the letter reads. Dated April 23, the letter also asks to discuss the matter with Facebook before April 26. It’s unclear whether this deadline was met.

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