A Facebook 'Like' button lawsuit has originated due to claims that a late programmer was the first to invent the features associated with it, as well as the social media site's timeline features. The suit is being brought on behalf of the late programmer Joannes Jozef Everardus Van Der Meer.
A report from Global Post on Feb. 11 discusses the legal action being brought against Facebook. The claims are that Rembrandt Social Media first patented the aforementioned features which have led to the success of the social media site. The lawsuit was brought last week on behalf of the programmer by the Fish & Richardson lawsuit.
Van Der Meer patented the ideas back in 1998, which was six years before Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook. However, Van Der Meer passed away in 2004, so he was not able to see how the website allegedly gained success from ideas he is said to have created.
NBC News reported that Van Der Meer's concepts were for a "Web page diary" which would be a collection of various information from around the Internet. The concept would allow users of the website to share the information with a select group of people through various privacy settings. These concepts seem to describe what Facebook is about almost exactly.
Lawyer Tom Melsheimer, who represents Rembrandt Media, said of the legal situation:
"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."
The creation of the social network known as Facebook came about in a Harvard dorm room, and was said to be launched mostly by Mark Zuckerberg, who now runs the company. The history of the site's creation was loosely presented in the film "The Social Network," which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
To this date, Facebook continues to rank among the most popular websites that users visit online. According to Alexa.com's listing of the top sites online, it ranks second, trailing only Google on the list of top 500 sites on the world wide web.