Effects Of Friendster Patent Win Yet to be Seen; Company Weighs Options


Friendster may finally have found an advantage in the increasingly competitive social media sector — the one dominated by other companies as pioneer Friendster flailed. Last month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Friendster a patent on “a method and apparatus for calculating, displaying and acting upon relationships in a social network” and the company says it’s been told to expect a patent covering the uploading of content onto a friend’s page. Those two and a number of others pending could make Friendster worth more as a patent farm than a social network.
Friendster president Kent Lindstrom told the WSJ the company’s lawyers are encouraging him to consider “taking people out from a litigation standpoint.” He’s also considering asking patent-licensing fees — or could skip legal action altogether. (Can we start a pool on that last one?) While Lindstorm says he’s been assured the patent is strong, others are not so sure. EFF lawyer Jason Schultz is among the skeptics; then again, EFF is waging war against what it is sees as illegitimate patents.
— The best part of the piece is not about patents, though; it’s when Lindstrom calls the effort to sell Friendster last year “poorly timed.” That’s one way to describe it.
Related: Friendster’s Money Raise: $3.1 Million
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