Facebook hasn't even gone public yet and it looks like the company's IPO honeymoon may be over before it starts.
Today, a consumer internet behemoth with which Facebook has maintained a relatively friendly relationship with, Yahoo, slapped the social networking giant with a lawsuit alleging that it is infringing on 10 Yahoo patents which focus primarily on advertising, but also include, for instance, an "Online playback system with community bias."
While Facebook struggles with f-commerce, a younger upstart, Pinterest, may be the next big thing in social commerce. The service, which is an "online pinboard" that allows users to "share things you love", is surging in popularity.
But there may be a downside to increased popularity, as some are questioning whether the service is promoting copyright infringement on a massive scale.
The iPad may be one of Apple's most important products. The dominant tablet device has been selling at an impressive rate, and that only looks to continue when Apple releases the iPad 3, something that could happen as early as March.
But there's just one problem: according to a Chinese firm, Apple doesn't own the 'iPad' trademark.
Google's Android operating system has proven to be a big hit, and that's good news for Google.
But it has also been good news for companies like Microsoft, which are profiting and seeking to profit from patents that Android may be infringing.
Now British Telecom has joined the Android patent litigation and licensing circus.
In its effort to defend the record labels, musicians and the recording industry at large, the RIAA became perhaps one of the most disliked organizations in the world.
Yes, most people will agree that piracy is wrong and that laws protecting content creators and rights holders are sensible, but the RIAA's tactics in fighting piracy, which infamously included widely-publicized lawsuits against grandmothers (dead or alive), didn't win it many fans.
Every week, it seems like at least a few of the tech blogosphere's top news
stories have something to do with patents. From patent auctions to
patent troll lawsuits that, at worst, threaten to put individual innovators out of
business, it seems that patents have become one of the biggest sources
of headaches in the tech industry.
According to billionaire internet entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban,
the chaos created by software and process patents has some very big
negative effects: it's costing the U.S. economy jobs and spurring a
"Patent Arms Race" that will inevitably impact consumer prices. But he's
proposing a solution: eliminate the process patents that are used to
In 2006, a Belgian newspaper group, Copiepresse, sued Google. It claimed that the search engine was violating its copyrights in showing headlines and excerpts from its newspapers in Google News.
Google lost in court, but it may have won a small moral victory when it left those same newspapers crying 'Bloody Mary!' this week. The reason? They noticed that their websites were no longer appearing in Google search results.
Two software giants, Oracle and Google, are fighting a fierce war that could upend the mobile market. Oracle, which owns Sun Microsystems, alleges that parts of Android use Sun software that Google didn't license.
Apparently, the allegation may be legitimate, and preparing for victory, Oracle is reportedly approaching handset makers that use Android and asking them to license its software directly at significant cost.
"Don't feed the trolls." Anybody who has ever participated on a message board or blog knows this is usually good advice.
When it comes to patent trolls, however, some of the world's largest companies can't find enough food. When faced with demands from companies that do little more than buy and license patents, tech stalwarts prefer feeding to fighting.
And for good reason: patent litigation is expensive, and a lost lawsuit can be even more expensive.
In today's competitive market, building a great technology company requires great ideas, great execution and great intellectual property.
Increasingly, however, it also requires something else: a great number of attorneys.