Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Facebook Patents... Wait.. What Exactly?

As I've been going through yet another one of those extremely busy periods, I've been out of the loop with some of the latest developments in the world of social networks and legal patents. So I hadn't read or heard about FB's recent work of art till today. Today I had a conversation with a Good friend, Twain, who kindly brought me in the loop with what's been going on. Apparently, Facebook has been awarded the patent for "Dynamically providing a news feed about a user of a social network". Check this link, and this link for the full story.

Well, I'm honestly shocked at what they seem to be getting away with. Actually, on a second though, I basically don't think they'll be getting away with this. As I told my friend, I think this is very much like stealing a piece of the ladder that everyone is, or wants to be climbing. And a good number of online services out there have in fact been climbing this ladder as long as Facebook has, if not longer. Orkut is an example of a social network that's been providing the news feed for a long while now. There are also services with a more specific purpose that do the same.. Last.fm and Goodreads would be examples. And I could bring a dozen other examples just of the top of my head.

So, exactly how does Facebook think that they have a right to be doing this? How is it that they managed to get this patent? Oh well, I think there are reasons I don't get too close to the worlds of business and law. I'm better off with engineering, math and code. Things that make some logical sense...

But even though I don't have much of a view on the topic, I have a firm belief that other online services are just not going to accept this. I have a feeling that Facebook has just brought together the ingredients for an upcoming fiasco. Well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.....

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Ahoo "Aasemoon" Pirsoleimani, 1998-2014