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Facebook, Yahoo negotiating to end patent dispute

Yahoo and Facebook are trying to resolve their differences regarding their patent dispute, according to recent court filings.

"The parties are currently engaged in settlement negotiations to resolve this dispute," lawyers for Yahoo said in a Tuesday filing.

The talks came to light in filings that requested an extension to several filing deadlines. "The parties believe that a further extension will facilitate settlement," the Yahoo lawyer said.

"Counsel for Facebook does not oppose these extensions," he continued. "Yahoo and Facebook are in agreement that additional time is warranted for the parties to prepare their submissions, will not adversely affect the case schedule, and will facilitate settlement."

Earlier today, California district Judge Jeffrey S. White approved those extensions, which push back various deadlines by about two weeks. A status hearing on Facebook's motion to dismiss was also pushed from 10 August to 24 August.

Reports of Facebook-Yahoo settlement talks first emerged earlier this month, but both companies declined to comment.

The case kicked off in March, when Yahoo filed suit against Facebook over patents related to its ad network, privacy, customization, 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.