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Judge Rules In Favor Of Facebook And LinkedIn In “Patent-Troll” Lawsuit

Judge Rules In Favor Of Facebook And LinkedIn In “Patent-Troll” Lawsuit
[Photos: Flickr users Maria Elena and A Name Like Shields Can Make You Defensive]

Facebook and LinkedIn might be competitors, but when it comes to fighting alleged patent trolls, they’re more than happy to join forces. The social media giants were sued by a company that claims to have patented fundamental portions of the social media experience, and last week a federal judge ruled in their favor, saying that the patents in question were invalid.

The suit was filed by a company called Bascom Research that developed “computational and data structures to complex data sets in the medical field” and then sued LinkedIn, Facebook, Novell, Salesforce, Jive, and BroadVision in 2012. Bascom, which was later acquired by an intellectual property company called DSS, claimed that LinkedIn and Facebook violated patents they had on making documents available on networks.

Judge Susan Illston said Bascom’s allegations were ineligible because they had “not shown that the patents require anything beyond generic and conventional computer structures and unspecified software programming.” The other four cases were dismissed last year. This is good news for LinkedIn and Facebook, who have both become targets for companies that claim to hold patents on the concepts behind instant messaging, message boards, and other core portions of social media.

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