Before it can cash in on what is expected to be one of the biggest IPOs in history, Facebook may have to pay Yahoo to settle allegations that the social network is infringing on up to 20 of Yahoo’s patents.
The New York Times’ DealBook blog is reporting that Yahoo is “seeking to force Facebook into licensing 10 to 20 patents over technologies that include advertising, the personalization of Web sites, social networking and messaging.” The Times wrote, “Yahoo is asking Facebook to pay licensing fees or risk facing a lawsuit.”
In a statement sent to the Times and other media outlets, Yahoo said: “Yahoo has a responsibility to its shareholders, employees and other stakeholders to protect its intellectual property. We must insist that Facebook either enter into a licensing agreement or we will be compelled to move forward unilaterally to protect our rights.”
A Facebook spokesman declined to comment to the Times, saying the company had not yet evaluated Yahoo’s claims.
On Feb. 1, Facebook filed registration papers with the SEC for a $5 billion IPO.