Social Media and IP (Part VIII): Select Patent Cases

Yahoo V. Facebook

In 2012, Yahoo sued Facebook claiming infringement of ten of its patents relating to methods and systems of advertising on Social Media. The suit was filed after Facebook announced its plans to go for IPO. Yahoo did the same thing to Google and acquired substantial amount of shares in the bargain. In response, Facebook countersued Yahoo for infringement of its patents.

The suit was settled within four months of its initial filing, in July, 2012. As a part of the settlement agreement, the parties agreed to cross license each other’s patents. They also agreed to work in a much more integrated manner for mutual commercial benefit.

The suit, which was dubbed as the beginning of patent battles in Social Media space, came to an end through the settlement.

Rembrandt Social Media v. Facebook

Rembrandt filed a patent suit against Facebook in 2013 alleging infringement of two of its patents, which specifically relate to creating a diary on a webpage and adding addresses to a personal diary. Initially, Rembrandt alleged that Facebook’s like and share features infringe sixty of its patent claims. In response, Facebook claimed for patent invalidity and non-infringement. During the proceedings, Rembrandt limited its infringement claims to BigPipe and Audience features introduced by Facebook in 2009.

After a jury trial, the US Court in Virginia held that Facebook’s share and like features did not infringe the patents. The Court also held Rembrandt’s patents to be invalid. Following the decision Facebook has claimed for attorney fee from Rembrandt.

Contributed by Social Media Law Team of BananaIP

If you have any further questions on the subject, please write to [email protected]

BananaIP’s Social Media Law experts will revert at the earliest possible.



2. Rembrandt Social Media, LP v. Facebook, Inc. et al, No. 1:2013cv00158 – Document 141 (E.D. Va. 2013).

Other posts in this series: