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Facebook Acquires Hundreds of Patents from IBM

By - Source: Bloomberg | B 15 comments

Facebook is next to dip into IBM's deep pool of patents and acquire the rights to about 750 inventions.

According to a report, Facebook intends to improve its position in patent infringement suits. The patent package apparently covers "various technologies such as software and networking." So far, Facebook has only been granted 56 patents, while 503 are pending in the approval process.

Facebook is in a similar position as Google, who recently complained that young companies have a tough time inventing and competing as they are hit with patent infringement lawsuits, often from patent trolls that buy up old patents, create business entities around individual patents and then launch a patent infringement lawsuit in the hope a corporation is willing to settle the suit for license fees rather than going through a patent battle that may result in even higher license fees. Google is believed to have purchased more than 2000 patents in 2011 alone.

For IBM, this deal is just part of its patent monetization business, which has clearly been heating up lately. Overall, the deal is unlikely to affect IBM's patent base in a noticeable way. The company has led patent approvals for 19 years straight and was granted 6,180 patents in 2011.

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  • 9 Hide
    rantoc , March 24, 2012 10:10 PM
    Yeah, the patent system is more about bullying the competition than actual invention those days it would seem. Hardly surprising when everything can be patented! It would not surprise me if someone even have patent to breathe air!
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , March 24, 2012 11:42 PM
    rantocIt would not surprise me if someone even have patent to breathe air!

    That is patent #976584625468 it will be called iAir
  • 9 Hide
    chumly , March 24, 2012 11:45 PM
    Old system fail. Needs update.
  • -2 Hide
    alidan , March 25, 2012 1:33 AM
    chumlyOld system fail. Needs update.

    needs no update, just needs a new branch to deal with tech pattents exclusively.
  • 2 Hide
    shardey , March 25, 2012 1:36 AM
    Acquisition to protect them from Yahoo?
  • 0 Hide
    __-_-_-__ , March 25, 2012 2:54 AM
    patentrols part II
  • 7 Hide
    velocityg4 , March 25, 2012 4:00 AM
    alidanneeds no update, just needs a new branch to deal with tech pattents exclusively.


    For one thing. Since the patent system wasn't meant to hinder innovation. Computing tech patents need to have much shorter lifespans given how quickly the landscape changes. It's not like a loom, harvester or cotton gin were increasing exponentially every year or two. Computer tech patents should be one to two years.

    They should also be specific, require a functioning product and be a significant development. Not something silly like swipe to unlock, slight variation in design, or appearance of a case. In regards to cases that is something more for a trademark or copyright. Patents should be reserved for software and hardware like the first GUI, mouse, LCD, facial recognition, &c.
  • 5 Hide
    alidan , March 25, 2012 5:52 AM
    velocityg4For one thing. Since the patent system wasn't meant to hinder innovation. Computing tech patents need to have much shorter lifespans given how quickly the landscape changes. It's not like a loom, harvester or cotton gin were increasing exponentially every year or two. Computer tech patents should be one to two years.They should also be specific, require a functioning product and be a significant development. Not something silly like swipe to unlock, slight variation in design, or appearance of a case. In regards to cases that is something more for a trademark or copyright. Patents should be reserved for software and hardware like the first GUI, mouse, LCD, facial recognition, &c.


    you have to make a difference between corporate and individual patents too. an individual may not be able to get a working product out, but could to the research and possibly find the solution that a corporation didn't.

    i don't believe patents should be buyable in tech, if a company goes under, public domain.

  • 0 Hide
    jimoreon , March 25, 2012 9:32 AM
    its the beginning of patent war.... we'll see who win and fall
  • -3 Hide
    anonymous98273198 , March 25, 2012 3:41 PM
    Please, for the love of God, sell ANYONE patents before you give them to Facebook.

    Facebook is a data-whoring POS that will eventually be used to prosecute 90% of people, ever want to take FB to a court of law, better hope you don't have anything stupid on FB.

    Stop giving away all your information toolbags.
  • 0 Hide
    deanjo , March 25, 2012 5:20 PM
    anonymous98273198Please, for the love of God, sell ANYONE patents before you give them to Facebook. Facebook is a data-whoring POS that will eventually be used to prosecute 90% of people, ever want to take FB to a court of law, better hope you don't have anything stupid on FB. Stop giving away all your information toolbags.


    That's sort of the whole idea behind social media. Gather information about yourself to share with others. Besides there are far worse offenders *cough*google*cough*
  • 0 Hide
    zaznet , March 26, 2012 1:47 PM
    velocityg4*snip* Computer tech patents should be one to two years.They should also be specific, require a functioning product and be a significant development. *snip*


    I agree overall with shortening the duration of patents not just for "tech" but across the board. It's a system that needs an overhaul and not just in the US but globally. Without unilateral and global application of patents the system only provides "bite" in specific markets and only hampers innovation in those same markets which is central to why China is pulling far ahead of the US in the manufacturing of technology.

    The system creates an unfair economic advantage that we are seeing taking a huge toll on the US economy.
  • 0 Hide
    JonnyDough , March 26, 2012 2:11 PM
    john_4The patent system is broken and now is used to bully start up companies out of business more than anything else. This keeps the fat cats in power. FU Face book, never used you, don't ever want to use you. I can step outside into the real world and meet my friends. Facebook is for Tools.


    I use Facebook all the time, but you won't find me click on ads or spending money on silly online games. If people are dumb enough to waste their cash on such silly crap, then fine. My child will be wealthier among her peers as a result. More power to my family. Please, spend your money on stupid crap. :) 
  • 0 Hide
    dalethepcman , March 26, 2012 5:46 PM
    jimoreonits the beginning of patent war.... we'll see who win and fall


    This is the ultimate showdown! (Of Ultimate destiny)
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 26, 2012 7:44 PM
    The whole problem is it just got an update, someone elected an asshole that switched the system from first to invent to first to file. This opened Pandora's box.