Blog Post

Friendster Gets Patent #2

Friendster just wrote in to tell us it has been granted a second social networking patent. The patent basically covers uploading a photo and associating it with someone you are connected to on an online social network. Friendster also claims it should extend to “videos, audio, comments, and any other content type, supported in public or private forums, within a social network.” There’s no comment so far about the company’s plans to pursue enforcement. Though people can’t stop rehashing its failures, Friendster is hoping it call pull Act II of the distraction campaign that won quite a lot of press and 10 million bucks from its VCs.

23 Responses to “Friendster Gets Patent #2”

  1. when you are in social networking business, bad reputation could take away users and kill you.

    I dont think friendster will take any legal actions directly but they have a weapon now and they will need to use it wisely.

  2. I don’t have time to read the patent, but I hope they are claiming the actual method of implementing such a system, not patenting the concept. If the patent office allowed them to claim the concept, that is simply ridiculous.

  3. If you read the required elements of the claim,
    it is for a system where a second user provides
    content (e.g. a photo, video, etc) about a first
    user and if the second user isn’t a ‘friend’ of
    the first user (in terms of # of degrees), then
    the first user has to agree to the content being
    posted.

    This is very close to what Facebook currently has.

  4. OK, let’s break down what claim 1 really says.

    If you read the required elements of the claim, it is for a system where a second user provides content (e.g. a photo, video, etc) about a first user and if the second user isn’t a ‘friend’ of the first user (in terms of # of degrees), then the first user has to agree to the content being posted.

    I don’t understand all the community elements of every social networking site, but of what I’ve seen, YouTube, MySpace, Flickr don’t appear to do what is patented.

    So this is a question for the reader group: What site does that? Specifically, who ASKS another user about content tagged to them, I can think of a few, but I’d be interested in the interpretation on how broad this claim really can be read.

  5. This ‘concept’ they’ve patented, has it never been done before? It seems so obvious I can’t believe a social site of some sort over the years hasn’t already done it, in which case shouldn’t the patent be stripped from them? I guess finding who did it first could be a very difficult thing to do.

    Craziness of the highest order!

  6. John Doe

    Good for friendster, one step closer to begin the legal onslaught.

    First step, estimate legal cost for both sides.

    Step two, find optimization point.

    Step three, offer a license.

    Step four, sue the idiots who do not realize the cost effectiveness of a license.

    Step five, founders enroll in marketing classes :)

  7. Robert Dewey

    Hopefully “Friendster” is a reader of comments, and they see this;

    I hope “Friendster” falls. I hope they fall so hard that they have no money to actually persue any legal claims.

    I am all for competition, but trying to block it by granting such an open patent is beyond reasonable. Why don’t they just patent actual relationships and require that anyone who has a friend must pay royalty, or assess fees on marriages?

    Purely stupid, and I wish the worst of luck to “Friendster”.