Facebook was recently hit with a lawsuit from Yahoo! that put its patent portfolio in serious danger. Yahoo! claimed the social network infringed 10 of its patents, which, as Facebook only owned 56 patents as of the end of 2011, amounted to almost 20 percent of its total portfolio. That is, until now.
Bloomberg reported Thursday that Facebook purchased 750 patents from International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) for a variety of technologies including networking, search and software. It’s still unknown how much Facebook paid for the patents, but experts estimates are in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The acquisition of IBM’s patents puts Facebook on a little more even ground with Yahoo! as it prepares to do battle in its own little corner of the raging tech patent war, and on the eve of its planned initial public offering this spring, no less.