Yahoo Says It’s in Patent Settlement Talks With Facebook

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), owner of the largest U.S. Web portal, is in talks to resolve a patent-infringement dispute with Facebook Inc. (FB), according to a court filing.

Lawyers for Yahoo asked U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White in San Francisco yesterday for a two-week extension on deadlines to file replies in the lawsuit while the companies hold discussions. The lawyers also asked for a two-week delay in a motion hearing now set for Aug. 10, according to the filing.

“The parties are currently engaged in settlement negotiations to resolve this dispute,” Kevin Smith, a Yahoo lawyer, said in the filing. “The parties believe that a further extension will facilitate settlement.”

Yahoo sued Facebook in March, alleging that the social- networking provider infringes patents covering such functions as Internet privacy, advertising and information sharing. Facebook countersued in April, accusing Yahoo of infringing 10 of its patents.

Scott Thompson, who was Yahoo’s chief executive officer at the time, has since resigned after failing to correct misstatements in his academic record.

Dana Lengkeek, a spokeswoman for Sunnyvale, California- based Yahoo, declined to comment on the proposed delay. Andrew Noyes, a spokesman for Menlo Park, California-based Facebook, also declined to comment.

The case is Yahoo! Inc. v. Facebook, 12-cv-01212, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

To contact the reporters on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net; Margaret Cronin Fisk in Detroit at mcfisk@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net; Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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