Friday, February 3, 2012

Facebook Acquired Friendsters Patent through MOL

Facebook bought the entire Friendster portfolio of patents in 2010. The eighteen patents had been transferred to MOL Global when it bought Friendster for about $39.5 million in 2009.

Friendster, the first social networking website, was launched by Jonathan Abrams in 2002. The Friendster patents, which date back to the early days of social networking, are incredibly broad. They cover things like making connections on a social network, friend-of-a-friend connections through a social graph, and social media sharing. Friendster had received its first patent back in 2006, when it was already on the decline. At the time, Friendster President Kent Lindstrom said the company had nearly forgotten it had ever applied for the patents, but added that “We’ll do what we can to protect our intellectual property.”

MOL Global, which is controlled by Vincent Tan, is said to have 3.5 million shares in Facebook as part of the patent acquisition deal. Assuming Facebook IPO price is set at US$40 a piece, this would translate to US$140mil (RM420mil), and even more after the listing.

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