You probably know that Yahoo recently sued Facebook for a bunch of patent violations.
But did you know that Facebook will crumble into financial ruin if Yahoo wins?
It’s true!… maybe.
I couldn’t actually find any information on the lawsuit, because I searched for it with Yahoo.
Google to the rescue
Here’s what Google said:
Yahoo’s lawsuit claims that:
Facebook’s entire social network model, which allows users to create profiles and connect with persons and businesses, is based on Yahoo’s patented social networking technology…
“Because Facebook stole Yahoo’s ideas, Yahoo’s current social media relevance is somewhere between Myspace and a sack angry of squirrels.”
Ok, I made that last part up.
And yes, my enthusiasm for Yahoo is rivaled only by my enthusiasm for unanesthetized surgery.
In response to the Yahoo’s lawsuit, Facebook sprang into action and filed a countersuit against Yahoo.
It was Yahoo, Facebook said, who was violating Facebook’s patents.
Not to be outdone, Yahoo then countered with a firm nuh-uh and filed a counter-suit against Facebook’s counter-suit.
Then in July they both forgot what they were fighting about and became best friends forever.
Well, that was embarrassing…
Corporations suing each other is nothing new, but Yahoo made two huge mistakes:
1) suing Facebook for patent violations without first making sure they hadn’t violated Facebook’s patents. (they had)
2) claiming that “Facebook’s entire social network model” was based on Yahoo’s ideas
This is like me claiming that the Jackass guys stole my ideas because I tripped down some stairs once.
Anyway… I realize it’s tough being Yahoo at the moment — or at any moment, really.
But still — they’ll probably learn two valuable lessons from this ordeal:
- if you accuse someone of something, make sure you’re not guilty of it yourself
- if you sue someone for something, choose something believable.
In the spirit of generosity toward Yahoo, we’ve done some pro bono research and found 5 believable Yahoo patents that Facebook may have violated.
So take notes, Yahoo, and I promise you’ll be ready the next time you need to distract shareholders.
Legal Team, Assssemble!
The 5 patent violations Yahoo should have sued Facebook for:
#5 — Patent No. 1,123,583
“Method for stacking icons in convoluted and incoherent mess.”
Facebook has made tremendous headway creating a usable and aesthetically pleasing interface, but they can still overdo it with the icons.
Which is precisely what Yahoo’s lawyers should pounce on.
One of Yahoo’s cornerstone pieces of intellectual property is its homepage design, which resembles a landfill dressed up for Mardis Gras.
#4 — Patent No. 7,945,653-A
“Frivolous news stories about bullshit you don’t care about.”
Long before my Facebook wall told me what my neighbor’s dog had for lunch, Yahoo was telling me about Victoria Beckham’s scary thin nose job diet and a miracle baby whose diaper fillings resembled Jesus.
In fact, these were the top news stories today.
(I wish I were making this up)
#3 — Patent No. 7,945,653-B
“People who click on bullshit news stories.”
Okay, you can’t actually patent stupid people, but if you could then this would be outstanding grounds for a lawsuit.
In fact, I bet the people who consider “Hampster drops dead” to be exciting news are the same people who think sharing an image on FB actually contributes to a cure for cancer.
Only science and money can cure cancer, folks.
Clicking share on FB just tells the rest of us who to watch out for when we leave the house.
#2 — Patent No. 6,957,235
“Obsolete email address service.”
This is an easy checkmate for Yahoo. People didn’t even realize they had an @facebook email address until Facebook forced it on them a few weeks ago.
That’s a level of obscurity Yahoo mail has enjoyed since the advent of Gmail.
Personally, when I receive an email from an @yahoo address I immediately delete it, because it’s always from either a lonely single or a representative of the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce.
#1 — Patent No. 8,237,001
“Weak ass search engine technology.”
This would be by far the most brilliant legal move Yahoo could make.
They should go after Facebook’s completely useless search engine — a feature Yahoo has been carefully engineering for years.
Allow me to demonstrate.
Weak sauce: a demonstration
We all know search engines are mainly used for three things:
- Airline tickets
- Photos of Katy Perry
- Solving drunken arguments
Search engines are valuable because they help you find what you’re looking for, even when you’re too drunk to know what that is.
I tested this last night by staying up all night drinking.
Once pants became optional, I knew I was ready for some science.
Yahoo Vs. Google
Here we go. The search engine battle royale!
Results were tallied by total number of correct hits on the first 10 results.
Looking for: Mr. T
Search term: “guy who wears gold and pities people”
5 of 10, Google.
2 of 10, Yahoo.
Looking for: 127 Hours
Search term: “the movie about the guy who gets stuck in a mountain and cuts his arm off”
7 of 10, Google.
2 of 10, Yahoo.
Looking for: Kristen Stewart
Search term: “expressionless 22 year old actress”
2 of 10, Google.
0 of 10, Yahoo.
BONUS ROUND!! Super Vague and Partially Incorrect
Looking for: Game of Thrones
Search term: “the series about the dwarf who ruled a kingdom”
1, Google. 0, Yahoo.
Need I say more?
So there’s your proof. Yahoo has a weak ass search engine.
Facebook, call your patent lawyers!
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