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Facebook Sued Due to 'Like' Button

By - Source: PRNewswire | B 20 comments

Over 1 trillion likes have been made by social network's users.

Social network giant Facebook has been sued over the use of its trademark "Like" button, joined by other features of the site.

A patent-holding company is suing Facebook and the social media firm, Add This, on behalf of a late Dutch programmer, Joannes Jozef Everardus van Der Meer. Rembrandt Social Media believes that Facebook's success was partly based on the utilization of two of Van Der Meer's patents without permission.

"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," said lawyer Tom Melsheimer from legal firm, Fish and Richardson, which represents the patent holder.

Rembrandt owns the patents for technologies Van Der Meer utilized to build a social network called Surfbook before his death in 2004. He was granted the patents back in 1998, which is five years before Facebook arrived.

According to legal papers filed by Fish and Richardson, Surfbook was a social diary allowing users to share information with friends and family, as well as approving data by using a "like" button. The lawsuit indicates that Facebook is aware of the patents because it referred to them in its own applications to patent a number of social networking technologies.

Facebook's 'Like' feature has been a well-known social tool for the website. During October 2012, the firm said that over 1.13 trillion 'Likes' have been made.


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Top Comments
  • 32 Hide
    internetlad , February 11, 2013 10:08 PM
    basically the only way to not get sued nowadays is to make nothing.
  • 20 Hide
    falcompsx , February 11, 2013 10:06 PM
    I hope he sues Facebook out of existence.
  • 13 Hide
    Nakal , February 11, 2013 9:49 PM
    Seriously? Really? He gonna sue Google/Youtube too because they also have it?
Other Comments
    Display all 20 comments.
  • 13 Hide
    fkr , February 11, 2013 9:45 PM
    leave facebook alone, without facebook I could never catch my wife cheating. ;) 
  • 13 Hide
    Nakal , February 11, 2013 9:49 PM
    Seriously? Really? He gonna sue Google/Youtube too because they also have it?
  • 10 Hide
    livebriand , February 11, 2013 9:49 PM
    Livebriand likes this.
  • 20 Hide
    falcompsx , February 11, 2013 10:06 PM
    I hope he sues Facebook out of existence.
  • 32 Hide
    internetlad , February 11, 2013 10:08 PM
    basically the only way to not get sued nowadays is to make nothing.
  • 12 Hide
    Devoteicon , February 11, 2013 10:10 PM
    livebriandLivebriand likes this.

    You are so sued.
  • 3 Hide
    jupiter optimus maximus , February 11, 2013 10:25 PM
    I really don't care about facebook, sued it for millions, and killed it with a final blow by producing my own social network, then be sued by Zuckerberg. The life cycle of American business.
  • -4 Hide
    upgrade_1977 , February 11, 2013 11:04 PM
    What kind of company would sue over the thumbs up? What kind of world are we living in? Facebook should change it to the middle finger, lol.
  • 1 Hide
    WyomingKnott , February 11, 2013 11:26 PM
    I just checked the calendar to make sure it's not April Fool's Day. Between Rembrandt and Fish, something was beautifully fishy.

    Not to mention the first sentence. Read it again. It says that features of the site have joined the suit and are suing Facebook, if you read it real fast. At least, that's how I read it. I thought that the like feature was suing Facebook. Maybe I should go get some sleep.
  • 3 Hide
    Cons29 , February 12, 2013 12:08 AM
    man, they really should fix these. patents should be something innovative, something that required research. not some shape or gesture that is common to nature or is part of everyday life.
  • 1 Hide
    calmstateofmind , February 12, 2013 12:13 AM
    Facebook is a social networking site. One of the most basic elements of social interaction is to either "like" something, or "dislike" it (of which disliking something can be passively assumed by the lack of liking it).

    Creating a social site that's based off rudimentary social interactions and not offering the ability to make others aware that one "likes" their friends content would make the website incomplete, and this functionality is implied by the nature of the site.

    This is quite stupid.
  • 7 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , February 12, 2013 1:52 AM
    Toms, watch out, change your thumbs up/down system QUICK!
  • 12 Hide
    keremidko , February 12, 2013 2:07 AM
    I am going to cut off my thumb now, so I don't accidentally give some one a thumbs up and get sued.
  • 2 Hide
    alidan , February 12, 2013 5:48 AM
    so, basically someone came up with the whole facebook system 5 years before face book, patented it, and than facebook used those patents as an example in their system...

    you know, this is a case where i hope the troll wins, because they had everything, a competitor came by and more or less said great idea, we want it too.
  • 0 Hide
    abbadon_34 , February 12, 2013 6:55 AM
    If facebook wasn't synonymous with "likes" then I'd say this is BS, but since it MAKES MONEY off the number of "likes" and people sell "likes" there may be something to this, considering he files a patent years earlier before the patent system was changed from "first to create" to "first to file"
  • 0 Hide
    eiskrystal , February 12, 2013 7:02 AM
    I have to side with FB on this, just because the idea of patenting a thumbs up is stupid and this is just another case of patents being abused.
  • 3 Hide
    bl00dyMurd3r , February 12, 2013 7:59 AM
    Facebook launched in 2004, and 9 years later it's suddenly an issue??
  • 1 Hide
    Flying-Q , February 12, 2013 8:45 AM
    Everyone seems to be missing the point. It is not the 'thumb' that is patented but the software behind what it does. If Facebook has 'borrowed' that software then they are liable. It does seem as though they are as the article refers to them quoting the original patent in their own filing and therefore, acknowledging its existence.
  • 0 Hide
    virtualban , February 12, 2013 8:56 AM
    Have they patented a method to make a fist with all fingers except for the middle finger?
    Yes? No? I give them them that anyway.
  • -2 Hide
    niixon , February 12, 2013 12:37 PM
    The idiots just want money. Facebook should hire a hit-man to take them out.
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