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Confirmed: Facebook buys patents from IBM

Facebook tells us it purchased patents from IBM, corroborating a report from Bloomberg citing anonymous sources.

Facebook did not provide details about the purchase, but according to Bloomberg, the company acquired 750 software and networking patents for an undisclosed sum. The new patents are likely to help Facebook’s position in intellectual property suits that Yahoo and Mitel recently brought against the social network.

IBM’s patents will significantly expand Facebook’s portfolio. According to a regulatory filing, the social network holds 56 patents in the U.S. and 149 abroad, which it estimates to be worth $51 million. Some of these include patents the company bought from Friendster in 2010. Facebook has also filed 503 U.S. patent applications and 149 foreign patent applications.

With an impending initial public offering, the social network is likely to face even more patent claims. The company had 22 patent suits brought against it last year, according to Bloomberg. As such, Facebook added corporate and patent counsel to its job listings this week.

 

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