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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Everyone's pissed at Yahoo!

Yahoo! recently decided to file a lawsuit against Facebook for several patent infringements. As a result, most of Silicon Valley and the tech world are pretty upset about it. (As I see this as just another form of patent-trolling, I wholeheartedly agree).

I'm sure more details will roll out as the case moves along, but I thought Fred Wilson's immediate response worth sharing:

Yahoo! Crosses The Line

The patents that Yahoo! is suing Facebook over are a crock of shit. None of them represent unique and new ideas at the time of the filing. I supect they all can be thrown out over prior art if Facebook takes the time and effort to do that.

But worse, Yahoo! has broken ranks and crossed the unspoken line which is that web companies don't sue each other over their bogus patent portfolios. I don't think there's a unique idea out there in the web space and hasn't been for well over a decade. Pretty much everything useful is based on prior art going back before the commercial web existed.

Yahoo! thinks they can bully Internet newcomers with their bogus patents. And that's a line they should not have crossed. Because other companies have bogus patents too. And they've opened themselves up to be sued back. Frankly I'd like to see it happen just to show them how stupid they are.

I am not writing this in defense of Facebook. They can and will defend themselves. I am wrting this in outrage at Yahoo! I used to care about that company for some reason. No more. They are dead to me. Dead and gone. I hate them now. (A VC)

If you want to read another knee-jerk response, read Mark Cuban's op-ed from the Huffington Post: "I Hope Yahoo Crushes Facebook in Its Patent Suit".
The title is obviously meant to be eye-catching. Especially considering Cuban's very vocal disdain for frivolous patent lawsuits.

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