Facebook is being sued by a patent-holding company over its “like” button and other features, over patents granted to a now-dead Dutch programmer in 1998.
Rembrandt Social Media, acting on behalf of Joannes Jozef Everardus Van Der Meer, said the success of the social network was partly based on using two of the deceased’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 Tom Melsheimer from legal firm Fish and Richardson, representing Rembrandt.
Social diary Surfbook allowed people to share information with others, letting them approve some actions with a “like” button. Fish and Richardson claim Facebook is aware of the patents.
The patent-holder owns patents for technologies Van Der Meer used to build his own Surfbook social network five years before the establishment of Facebook, before he died in 2004.
Facebook said it would not comment on the lawsuit or the claims in it.