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Yahoo Is Suing Facebook Over Ten Patents

Whether or not Yahoo is ultimately vindicated, there is something symbolic about the struggling Internet company filing a patent lawsuit against Facebook after years of having its lunch devoured by Mark Zuckerberg and company. All of the paperwork can be seen at All Things D, but in short, Yahoo says ten of its patents, including online advertising innovations, are being infringed upon by Facebook, whose huge IPO is planned for later this year. "These technologies are the foundation of our business that engages over 700 million monthly unique visitors and represent the spirit of innovation upon which Yahoo! is built," said the company in a statement. "Unfortunately, the matter with Facebook remains unresolved and we are compelled to seek redress in federal court. We are confident that we will prevail."

As Reuters notes, this "marks the first major legal battle among technology giants in social media and a major escalation of patent litigation that has already swept up the smartphone and tablet sectors and high-tech stalwarts such as Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc."

Facebook and Google are largely credited with siphoning ad dollars from the one-time search giant, contributing to Yahoo's struggles in recent years. Yahoo has attempted to shake things up lately by welcoming a new CEO, Scott Thompson, after firing its unsuccessful old one, with an upheaval of the board planned as well. Thousands of layoffs are expected this year.

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Photo: Justin Sullivan/2011 Getty Images