Hardly a month goes by without Facebook finding itself named in a patent-infringement lawsuit, and October’s plaintiff is Bascom Research, which describes itself as a “software-development company focused on applying computational and data structures to complex data sets in the medical field.”
Bascom Research is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lexington Technology Group, which announced its merger with Document Security Systems, a provider of anti-counterfeit, authentication, and mass-serialization technologies, in the same press release that contained the details about the patent-infringement suit.
Facebook is not alone in this suit, as its fellow defendants include LinkedIn, Jive Software, BroadVision, and Novell.
According to the press release detailing the lawsuit, Bascom Research acquired a patent portfolio of six patents and four pending patent applications related to technology invented by Thomas L. Bascom, and the patented technology involved a means of organizing data and relationships, as well as sharing information in a computer network.
The company said it is seeking a judgment of infringement, injunctive relief, and appropriate damages, adding that its “innovations” cover the manner in which users and application developers on the Facebook platform make connections between objects including photos, people, events, and pages — “the very essence of Facebook’s business.” 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.
Lexington Technology Group CEO Will Rosellini said:
We strongly believe that Facebook, LinkedIn, and the other defendants are infringing our patents. Our pioneering technology was patented as early as 2001 — long before the advent of Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social and business networks — and it covers key aspects of online collaboration and relationship linking.
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.
Readers: Do you believe Bascom Research has a worthy case?
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