Yahoo has fired another salvo in its patent battle with Facebook, adding more allegations of infringement (from 10 patents to 12) and accusing Facebook of violating an agreement between the two companies to notify each other of possible infringement before filing suit.
Moreover, Yahoo is miffed at Facebook's sudden acquisition of several hundred patents from IBM and Microsoft (via AOL) over the course of just a few short weeks. Yahoo claims Facebook bought the patents solely to countersue Yahoo. (Well, duh! However, there's another likely motive or two behind Facebook's patent purchases, which we'll get to in a moment.)
Also - and here you can cue the Twilight Zone music - Yahoo's lawyers hinted that some foul play is involved.
"Unless Facebook has unlawfully acquired Yahoo confidential business information, Facebook could not have developed a good-faith basis for many of the infringement allegations in its counterclaims," Yahoo's lawyers wrote in their filings.
In other words: "How dare Facebook try to defend itself instead of just settling the lawsuit quickly, for a much smaller pile of cash than it took to buy all those patents?"
Facebook, for its part, continues to question Yahoo's motives and vows to keep up the fight.
"We remain perplexed by Yahoo's erratic actions," Facebook said in a statement. "We disagree with these latest claims and we will continue to defend ourselves vigorously."
Some IP experts, however, think there's more to Facebook's patent purchases than just silencing Yahoo - and that something more is Google. Though Google+ hasn't achieved anywhere near Facebook's success, it is a direct competitor - and that competitor has a much bigger patent portfolio than Facebook does. Facebook would thus do well to catch up in any way it can.
And, of course, those extra patents in the portfolio will help boost Facebook's value for its IPO (which is coming soon).
So Yahoo, this isn't all about you. (Although we find paranoid rants very entertaining and anticipate more of them over the course of the Yahoo - Facebook lawsuit.)