Yahoo Criticized From Within Over “Weaponized Patents”
The people responsible for writing the patents that Yahoo is using to sue Facebook are furious at the company.
Andy Baio sold Upcoming.org to Yahoo in 2005 and as part of the deal he would help write patents based on his ideas and source codes. Baio was a little nervous Baio was hesitant to do so, but wrote in Wired.com that he thought he was helping preserve the rights of Yahoo as a precautionary measure.
Baio wrote in his column in Wired Magazine,
“I thought I was giving them a shield. It turns out I gave them a missile with my name permanently engraved on it.”
He lamented that the four patents he got for Yahoo are now “weaponized to use against people like me.”
Patent lawsuits have become a significant part of doing business in the world of technology today. Apple has been trying to keep control over the tablet market by suing Samsung, citing patent infringement. Microsoft uses its patent portfolio as a source of revenue, by taking a piece of the profits from its competitors products.
“Yahoo assured us that their patent portfolio was a precautionary measure, to defend against patent trolls and others who might try to attack Yahoo with their own holdings.Instead the tech landscape has turned into a cold war where patents are stockpiled rather than nuclear arms — and every company in the valley had a bunker full of them,”
Other inventors and entrepreneurs tell a similar story.
Paul Graham sold his company Viaweb to Yahoo in 1998 for $49 million. He told CNET he thinks the lawsuit was a mistake,
“This was a clumsy move that will blow up in Yahoo’s face. The biggest priorities for any tech company right now is hiring, and this is going to make it impossible for them to hire good people.”
Do you think that Yahoo is seeking justice or just a cheap buck?