Yahoo, facing 25 patent lawsuits, starts off by losing one


yahoo_small.jpgADOTAS — Patent lawsuits are burden large companies must bear, either because companies are trolling or companies just screwed up.

While some are legitimate, you have to wonder if all are. And I guess that’s why companies like Yahoo revamped a strategy that chose settlement over court fights. But the new strategy, fighting court battles, took its first hit.

Acacia Research Corporation’s subsidiary, Creative Internet Advertising Corporation, won $6 million in a patent infringement trial against Yahoo. A federal court jury decided on a case related to Yahoo’s messenger program. The jury also said that Yahoo’s infringement was willful.

Before the trial, Yahoo was facing 25 patent infringement lawsuits, up from four in 2007. Hence, Yahoo decision to fight some cases, instead of settling.

“There has been a shift in the landscape,” Jeanine Hayes, head of Yahoo’s intellectual property department, told before the trial, “and companies are being forced to deal with this in a different way.”

Yahoo hasn’t decided whether to appeal. The new way hasn’t really started out the right way.

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