Facebook Sued Over Timeline Feature, Delays Public Launch

By October 3, 2011Social Media

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook sure are used to being sued, and it honestly comes to no surprise that they are being sued again due to their new Timeline feature that they announced at the F8 conference two weeks ago.

Facebook is being sued over a trademark dispute with their Timeline. Timelines.com, the one doing the suing, stated that if Facebook is allowed to proceed with the launch of Timeline, it “will essentially eliminate Timelines.com” and make people think that Timelines.com is connected to Facebook in some way, which it is not. Timelines.com lets users view and create multimedia timelines for historical events such as Battles of The American Revolution and the Civil Rights Movement. The site, which has been around for about 5 years, partners with The Boston Globe and other organizations in order to create timelines for different sports teams as well. Timelines.com is actually a pretty cool site, and I recommend checking it out. The company also owns the U.S. trademarks for “Timelines,” “Timelines.com” and “Timelines&design.”

From the court complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for Chicago:

“Facebook’s use of the term “Timeline,” and its redirection of Internet traffic from Timelines’ Facebook page to Facebook’s new “Timeline” offering, infringes on Timelines’ federally registered trademarks in that it causes confusion as to the source of the services offered to users of the Internet. Indeed, Facebook’s “Timeline” offering and its misdirection of users attempting to access Timelines’ offering is intended to prevent Internet users from accessing information about Timelines.com and to allow users to instead use Facebook’s “Timeline” offering.”

Although a federal judge has refused to grant a temporary restraining order on Facebook at the request of Timelines.com, Facebook has promised to delay the full public launch. Facebook Timeline has been expected to go live any day, but now it seems that it wont go live until Tuesday at the earliest. Thats when representatives from both Facebook and Timelines.com will meet again in front of another federal judge to debate whether an injunction should be issued against Facebook or not.

The judge in Timelines.com’s lawsuit declined their request to disable users from signing up for the Timeline feature. He did order Facebook though, to report daily how many new developers were enabling the Timeline feature. About 1.1 million users have already installed the new feature. The judge also stated that emergency relief was not required because Facebook had stopped redirecting users away from Timelines’ own Facebook page . A Facebook Spokesmen said they have no immediate comment on Timelines litigation, but we will continue to monitor the situation, and will update this when we know more.

 

[via Mashable, PaidContent]

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