The 10 to 20 patents in question relate to advertising, site personalisation, messaging and social networking technologies, according to a report from the New York Times.
The report said that the two companies discussed the matter on Monday.
“Yahoo has a responsibility to its shareholders, employees and other stakeholders to protect its intellectual property,” the Times quoted a Yahoo spokesman as saying.
“We must insist that Facebook either enter into a licensing agreement or we will be compelled to move forward unilaterally to protect our rights.”
Neither company could immediately be reached for comment.