Facebook retaliates with suit against Yahoo

Facebook filed a countersuit against Yahoo on Tuesday in retaliation for Yahoo's case claiming the social media giant infringed its patents.

"While we are asserting patent claims of our own, we do so in response to Yahoo's short-sighted decision to attack one of its partners and prioritize litigation over innovation," Ted Ullyot, Facebook's general counsel, said in a statement.

Facebook's suit claims that Yahoo features, including its Flickr photo-sharing site and its popular Yahoo News and Yahoo Sports pages, copy Facebook patents.

Facebook says the products violate its patents on technologies such as a news feed of stories, tagging photos and search algorithms. 

Facebook asked the court to toss Yahoo's suit, ban Yahoo from copying its technology and force Yahoo to pay Facebook for damages. 

In an emailed statement, Yahoo said, "We have only just received Facebook’s answer and counterclaims, but on their face we believe they are without merit and nothing more than a cynical attempt to distract from the weakness of its defense. As we have made clear from the outset, the unauthorized use of our patented technology is unacceptable and must be resolved appropriately."  

Yahoo said Facebook should pay for the alleged use of its technology

"Other leading companies license these technologies, and Facebook must do the same or change the way it operates. We have proposed that Facebook join us in discussions to resolve the matter, but our overtures have been rejected. As a result, we are prepared to continue to seek redress through the courts," Yahoo said.

Yahoo's lawsuit claims Facebook copied Yahoo products in areas such as advertising, privacy controls, social networking and messaging.

Although lawsuits over smartphone technologies have become common in recent years, the Yahoo-Facebook battle marks one of the first major legal actions over social networking patents. 

Yahoo has been struggling to keep pace with competitors like Facebook and Google in recent years. The company fired CEO Carol Bartz last September and has been overhauling its business strategies.