I must admit that this little piece fn rather irrelevant information brought a LOL to my mind: Facebook is now apparently being sued over its market-moving “like” button. Why? They don’t own the right to use is, according to a Dutch patent-holding company, Rembrandt Social Media. The company says they are acting on behalf of a dead Dutch programmer called Joannes Jozef Everardus van Der Meer. A lawsuit has been filed in a federal court in Virginia by Rembrandt Social Media.
“We believe Rembrandt’s patents represent an important foundation of social media as we know it, and we expect a judge and jury to reach the same conclusion based on the evidence,”
Rembrandt Social Media said Facebook’s success was based, in part, on using two of Mr Van Der Meer’s patents without permission. Rembrandt now owns patents for technologies Mr Van Der Meer used to build a fledgling social network, called Surfbook, before his death in 2004.
Mr Van Der Meer was granted the patents in 1998, five years before Facebook first appeared.
Surfbook was a social diary that let people share information with friends and family and approve some data using a “like” button, according to legal papers filed by Fish and Richardson.
“We believe Rembrandt’s patents represent an important foundation of social media as we know it, and we expect a judge and jury to reach the same conclusion based on the evidence,” says lawyer Tom Melsheimerfrom legal firm Fish and Richardson, which represents the patent holder.
The papers also say Facebook is aware of the patents as it has cited them in its own applications to patent some social networking technologies.
Also cited in the same legal claim was another social media company called Add This., the BBC report.
I don’t think the Facebook-people will “Like” this…
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Other related articles:
- Facebook sued over “Like” button patent (telegraph.co.uk)
- Facebook Being Sued Over Like Button (mashable.com)
- Deceased Programmer’s Family Sues Facebook Over ‘Like’ Button Patent (theepochtimes.com)
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