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Yahoo, Facebook close to reaching agreement in patent suits

Yahoo and Facebook are reportedly close to a deal that could settle the two companies' patent fight.

As reported by All Things D, executives at Facebook and Yahoo are in "advanced negotiations" on the patent issue, and could reach a deal within several weeks.

A Facebook spokesman declined to comment, as did a Yahoo spokeswoman.

The case kicked off in March, when Yahoo filed suit against Facebook over patents related to its ad network, privacy, customisation, messaging and social networking as a whole. Facebook filed a countersuit against Yahoo the next month for infringing on 10 Facebook-owned patents. In response, Yahoo argued that the social network's counterclaim was retaliatory and based on information to which Facebook couldn't possibly have access.

Last month, Yahoo apparently made a bit of a legal blunder when it accused the social network of not providing the US Patent Office with a required sworn declaration related to two of Facebook's 10 patents. This, Yahoo argued, made those patents unenforceable, but it turns out that Facebook had indeed provided the declarations.

Other firms have not been so lucky in hammering out a patent deal. Samsung and Apple, for example, which have been battling each other since early 2011, failed to reach a deal during court-ordered settlement talks last month, instead choosing to escalate their fight in various courts around the globe.