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Facebook fails to end trademark infringement lawsuit over Timeline

Tech2.com
Apr 02, 2013 at 05:35pm IST

Mumbai: Facebook reportedly failed to end a trademark infringement lawsuit that began in September 2011 over its use of the Timeline and related terms. According to Bloomberg, the popular social network could not demonstrate "as a matter of law, that the marks are generic." It all began in September 2011, when most people in the world had not even seen the Facebook Timeline. Timelines.com, the company that sued Facebook, makes Timelines for on topics like, say, the Civil War.

The website lets users create or view multimedia-rich timelines and has been around for about five years. The site has also partnered with publications like The Boston Globe to create timelines for different sports teams.

In his ruling, US District Judge John W. Darrah in Chicago wrote, "At this stage in the proceedings, it is not unreasonable to conclude that as to this group of users, 'timeline(s)' has acquired a specific meaning associated with plaintiff."

Facebook fails to end trademark infringement lawsuit over Timeline

Facebook's Timeline has been one of the most widely discussed topics in recent times. It has also been one to generate a mixed bag of buzz in the user community.

When reports first emerged in September 2011, the company felt that if Facebook went ahead with its Timeline feature, it will essentially eliminate Timelines.com, as well as cause confusion that Timelines.com is associated with Facebook.

Douglas Albritton, an attorney for Chicago-based Timelines, was quoted as saying, "We're happy with the ruling." Albritton reportedly, said that Timelines is now seeking damages that are equivalent to the "Fcebooks's timeline-derived-ad revenue". A jury trial has now been scheduled for April 22, 2013.

Facebook's Timeline has been one of the most widely discussed topics in recent times. It has also been one to generate a mixed bag of buzz in the user community. In fact, only last month, Facebook finally made its new Timeline design official. The new Timeline, Facebook claims, will help users express what's important to them. Just so you know what to expect, we give you a lowdown on the improvements that you will see soon.

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