Facebook and Yahoo! in patent fight truce talks

Facebook and Yahoo! are in patent war truce talks that could end a legal battle between the companies, according to court documents available online Wednesday.

"The parties are currently engaged in settlement negotiations to resolve this dispute," attorney Kevin Smith of the Yahoo! legal team said in a filing asking a federal court to allow the companies more time to negotiate.

"The parties believe that a further extension will facilitate settlement."

In March, Yahoo! filed suit against Facebook in US District Court in San Francisco, accusing the social networking giant of infringing on 10 patents.

The Yahoo! suit accused Facebook of infringing on patents in areas including advertising, privacy and messaging and contended that Facebook's growth "has been based in large part on Facebook's use of Yahoo!'s patented technology."

Yahoo! asked the court to order Facebook to halt its alleged patent-infringing activities and to assess unspecified damages.

Facebook, which is based in the northern California city of Menlo Park, denied violating any valid Yahoo! patents.

Facebook went on to accuse Yahoo! of infringing on its patented technology in a broad array of products including online venues for news, games, cars, travel and photo-sharing service Flickr.

The fight between Yahoo! and Facebook heated up in April with the floundering Internet pioneer accusing the social network star of buying patents just to retaliate in court.

Yahoo! also added a few more patents to the list of intellectual property it claims Facebook is abusing.

"We remain perplexed by Yahoo's erratic actions," a Facebook spokesman told AFP at the time.

"We disagree with these latest claims and we will continue to defend ourselves vigorously."

Patent suits are a frequent occurrence among smartphone and tablet computer makers, and the world's best known brands are ensnared in a complex web of legal claims, but such suits are relatively rare among social media companies.

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