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October 5, 2012

Software Company Suing Facebook, LinkedIn for ‘Patent Infringement’

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Software development company Bascom Research has filed patent infringement lawsuits against five social and business networking companies including Facebook and LinkedIn.

The company, owned by the Lexington Technology Group, is alleging various social networking sites are using a number of its patents that are instrumental to social networking technology.

“We strongly believe that Facebook, LinkedIn and the other defendants are infringing our patents,” said Lexington Technology Group CEO Will Rosellini in a press release.

“Our pioneering technology was patented as early as 2001 — long before the advent of Facebook, LinkedIn and other social and business networks — and covers key aspects of online collaboration and relationship linking.”

The company obtained a patent portfolio of six patents and four pending patent applications that have been commercialized in a previous company of Bascom called LinkSpace. LinkSpace offers users a way to organize data and relationships and share information in a computer network.

The innovations, which the company says were invented by Thomas L. Bascom, are used by Facebook when users and developers make connections between photos, people and events, the lawsuit claims.

Facebook and LinkedIn are not alone in the suit. Fellow defendants include Jive Software, BroadVision, and Novell.

The company is “seeking a judgment of infringement, injunctive relief, and appropriate damages.”

“Bascom’s innovations cover the manner in which users and application developers on the Facebook platform make connections between ‘objects’ such as photos, people, events and pages — which is the very essence of Facebook’s business,” the press release states.

The patents involved are:

U.S. Patent No. 7,111,232: Method and system for making document objects available to users of a network.

U.S. Patent No. 7,139,974: Framework for managing document objects stored on a network.

U.S. Patent No. 7,389,241: Method for users of a network to provide other users with access to link relationships between documents.

U.S. Patent No. 7,158,971: Method for searching document objects on a network.

Facebook had little to say about its latest lawsuit.

“Hardly a month goes by without Facebook finding itself named in a patent-infringement lawsuit,” David Cohen wrote in a blog post on All Facebook.

“Facebook is also dealing with patent-infringement lawsuits filed by Eolas Technologies and Mitel Networks and it settled a much-publicized patent row with Yahoo in July.”

 

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