About that deal Facebook announced last month with MOL Global to have the Friendster parent distribute Facebook Credits through its own network … Turns out it was part of a larger arrangement between the companies in which Facebook purchased all of Friendster’s patents, including its pending patent applications, GigaOm reports. GigaOm says the overall deal, which also included cash, was valued at $40 million.
There had been speculation in the past that Friendster’s patents were worth more than the social network itself, which was sold to MOL Global for an undisclosed amount in December. One of its patents covered “a method and apparatus for calculating, displaying and acting upon relationships in a social network” and the company had said several years ago that it was considering “taking people out from a litigation standpoint,” although it doesn’t seem to have done so, according to GigaOm.
Facebook, however, has been sued by other parties for infringing on patents, most recently in October, when Phoenix Media subsidiary Tele-Publishing, which provides dating services products to various newspaper companies, said that the social network was infringing on a patent it owns which covers a method for setting up personal profile pages on the web.
A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed to us that the company had purchased Friendster’s patents, although she wouldn’t provide additional details.