Yahoo has chosen to sue Facebook for the infringement of  a ridiculous, broad array of patents which are either unused by Yahoo, prior art clearly exists or frankly should never have been granted in the first place. This is the first such example of one web company suing another over their ‘patent bank’ that I can think of and is a trend that we should all be afraid to see pick up.

In this case, Facebook is in a position to defend itself; but if it becomes standard practice for the dying web giants to use their massive war chests of patents to sue startups, innovation on the web will become a lot harder and much, much more expensive.

For background:

Reuters Artcle{.woo-sc-button.silver}

Dear Yahoo

Employing the metaphor of the Cold War for the current patent stand-off both between large old tech companies within themselves and with the smaller, nimbler, innovating ones; you just fired the warhead which leads to the destruction of the entire world.

It has been understood for some time now, that patents are very much like nuclear misles; they act largely as deterrents and defensive weapons. They are to be used against other tech companies only as a last resort and when any chance of a detente has been exhausted. They are not a resource which a company looking for new revenue streams to replace it’s former actual use of the innovation covered by these patents, can or should utilise.

Please reconsider this path – don’t ruin it for everyone.

I know the 90s had some questionable fads and awful music, but it’s still better than the entire world being blown up.

Some random guy on the Internet