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Facebook Snaps Up 750 Patents From IBM

Since the patent wars began to escalate, major tech firms have increasingly viewed their arsenal of patents as a key part of business and sales strategy, both in terms of offence and defence.

One of the major reasons for Google's mammoth costing acquisition of Motorola is, after all, the firm's large war chest of some 17,000 patents - much needed in the battle against Apple, which is hounding Android through the courts globally.

And so Facebook is looking to bolster its array of patents, and ahead of legal action against the social network by Yahoo, Facebook has snapped up some 750 patents from IBM. Yahoo filed against Facebook last week, citing 10 patents, without which it claimed "websites such as Facebook would not enjoy repeat visitors or substantial advertising revenue".

The patents Facebook has acquired cover software and networking, according to the source who informed Bloomberg of the deal.

In comparison to Yahoo, Facebook has few patents - just 56 issued and 500 filed - so the addition from IBM is a major one, and presumably a defensive measure, with some counter-suit material in there to fire back at the search engine.

Hundreds of millions of dollars were likely paid to IBM for this patent privilege, Erin- Michael Gill, chief intellectual property officer at MDB Capital Group, told Bloomberg.

He said: "This is a very big deal," and added, "Facebook is now where it's supposed to be." Even though it isn't clear at this stage exactly what the patents are, or how strong they'll be.

Neither Facebook or IBM are commenting on the matter at this stage.