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October 4, 2012

Software company files patent infringement suit against LinkedIn and Facebook

Bascom Research, a software development company, has filed patent infringement lawsuits against five social and business networking companies

By Tineka Smith

The company, which is owned by Lexington Technology Group, claims that several of its patents instrumental to social networking technology are being used by various social networking sites.

"We strongly believe that Facebook, LinkedIn and the other defendants are infringing our patents," said Lexington Technology Group CEO, Will Rosellini. "Our pioneering technology was patented as early as 2001 — long before the advent of Facebook, LinkedIn and other social and business networks — and covers key aspects of online collaboration and relationship linking."

The company acquired patents that have been commercialised in a previous company of Bascom called LinkSpace. LinkSpace allows users to organise data and relationships as well as share information in a computer network.

Bascom says their innovations are used by Facebook when users and developers make connections between photos, people and events.

Lawsuit

The company is seeking a judgement of "infringement, injunctive relief and appropriate damages."

The patents under question are as follows:

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  • U.S. Patent No. 7,111,232 ("the ‘232 Patent"), entitled Method and system for making document objects available to users of a network
  • U.S. Patent No. 7,139,974 ("the ‘974 Patent"), entitled FRAMEWORK FOR MANAGING DOCUMENT OBJECTS STORED ON A NETWORK
  • U.S. Patent No. 7,389,241 ("the ‘241 Patent"), entitled METHOD FOR USERS OF A NETWORK TO PROVIDE OTHER USERS WITH ACCESS TO LINK RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN DOCUMENTS
  • U.S. Patent No. 7,158,971 ("the ‘971 Patent"), entitled METHOD FOR SEARCHING DOCUMENT OBJECTS ON A NETWORK

Other companies accused of patent infringement by Bascom include Jive Software, BroadVision and Novell.

Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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