It just occurred to me that social networking sites are about to become fewer in the coming months. There is an article in the Jewelry BlogStore Blog, “Facebook Huddles with Patent Vampire” referring to talks between Nathan Myhrvold from Intellectual Ventures, and Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of facebook.com. In the article, it shows the two icons talking.
Here is how I would think the conversation likely went:
Zuckerberg: “What do you think you can do for me by me selling you my patents for millions of bucks?”
Myhrvold: “How would you like to be the only social networking site in existence?”
Zuckerberg: “You can do that? How?”
Myhrvold: “Well, you know all those me-too social networking sites? Do you have any idea how many of them are infringing patents?”
Zuckerberg: “My patents don’t cover their activities. I’m not so sure it will work.”
Myhrvold: “Think a bit bigger, my friend. We’ve been buying patents on social networking for years, so much so that we can even put you out of business with our patents. We obviously wouldn’t of course, and we’re friends, and I’d like it to stay that way.”
Zuckerberg: [a bit nervous] “Uh huh…” *frown*
Myhrvold: “If you sell us your patents, we will give you a license to keep practicing your patent forever. Think of it as a royalty-free lifetime license. We — together — will bring the other social networks down to their knees, and we’ll share the profit 60/40.”
Zuckerberg: “I’m not so sure about this.”
Myhrvold: “You can’t lose. The patents speak for themselves. Plus, imagine what you’ll be allowed to do on your own facebook.com site because we’ll license you these patents which will allow you to expand your capabilities. You’ll have the #1 social networking site in the world!”
Zuckerberg: “What about the Twitter problem?”
Myhrvold: “We’re working on it. ;)”
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