Facebook Wins Patent Battle (Media Tagging)
Users of Facebook know and have most likely used the tagging feature that Facebook has to offer. Tagging faces and people in photos is what set Facebook apart and was truly Facebook's first push of innovation (beyond the platform itself). Facebook has been battling for almost five years to gain the patent rights to tagging photos and the features along with it, and has finally won.
According to Inside Facebook, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded Facebook a patent for selecting a piece of media (e.g. photo/video) and having the ability to reference a person or entity in it. Mark Zuckerberg, Aaron Sittig, and Scott Marlette were credited as the inventors during the case. The premise of "tagging people" in photos was one of the factors that convinced the founders to start a platform like Facebook Zuckerberg says.
Due to the success of photo tagging, Facebook opened up opportunities for developers to create and design other features that are now prominent to Facebook's interface. Because of this, Facebook also won a patent for "gifting" or the giving of gifts in a social network environment. Facebook applied for four other search-related patents in the last month and they regard social proximity and information of that nature. Because of the growing popularity and status of Facebook, it would not be a surprise if Facebook was to continue to gain patents and other trademarks as the social-network boom has in no way hit the ceiling.
Source(s) Inside Facebook