Judge: Firm can sue Facebook over 'timeline'

Apr 02, 2013

A Chicago-based social media company called Timelines Inc. can sue Facebook Inc. over allegations that it violated the smaller firm's trademark on the word "timeline," a federal judge ruled.

Timelines launched a website called Timelines.com in 2009 that enables users to track and their personal lives online. Two years later, Facebook Inc. launched a major new feature it called "timeline," which similarly allows users to highlight their lives online in chronological order.

The Chicago company filed its lawsuit weeks after Facebook introduced its "timeline" feature.

Facebook had asked a in Chicago to throw out Timelines' suit, arguing, among other things, that the word "timeline" is too generic to be trademarked.

But in a 23-page ruling posted this week, U.S. John Darrah disagreed, noting Facebook itself has battled hard in the courts to protect words it's trademarked, including "poke" and "like."

Timelines.com has just over 1,200 registered users, the ruling said. Facebook has said recently it has around a billion.

Darrah's ruling giving the suit the green light means a jury trial can start as scheduled on April 22.

A spokesman for Menlo Park, California-based , Andrew Noyes, declined any comment on the ruling. A Timelines' attorneys, Douglas Albritton, said he was "pleased" and declined further comment.

Explore further: Lufthansa outsources IT infrastructure ops to IBM

3 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Judge throws out some Facebook IPO lawsuits

Feb 14, 2013

(AP)—A New York judge is dismissing a key group of the many lawsuits against Facebook over its initial public offering in May, saying the plaintiffs did not show that they lost money because of corporate wrongdoing.

Facebook cleans up Timeline in latest tweak

Mar 13, 2013

Facebook on Wednesday began rolling out new profile pages redesigned to clear away clutter from "Timelines" that chronicle member postings at the leading social network.

Facebook draws user ire with email switcheroo

Jun 26, 2012

(AP) — In yet another change that upset users, Facebook has replaced the email addresses users chose to display on their profile pages with (at)facebook.com addresses.

New mobile app, ShoeBox, helps scan old photos

Nov 02, 2011

(AP) -- A new smartphone app will help you transition your old paper photos into the digital age. Called ShoeBox, the free app lets you use your iPhone's camera as a photo scanner.

Recommended for you

Turner channels removed from Dish amid pact spat

17 hours ago

Channels such as Cartoon Network and CNN are no longer part of Dish's programming lineup as a deadline has passed for the satellite TV provider and Turner Broadcasting to renew their distribution agreement.

Verizon reports higher 3Q net income, revenue

18 hours ago

Verizon Communications Inc. on Tuesday reported higher net income and revenue in its third quarter, helped by strong wireless subscriber growth and demand for its high-speed FiOS Internet services.

Amazon, Simon & Schuster sign book retail deal

Oct 21, 2014

Amazon has reached a deal with American book publisher Simon & Schuster, the companies said, though the e-commerce giant remains at loggerheads with France's Hachette over e-book pricing.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Lurker2358
5 / 5 (2) Apr 02, 2013
The words "timeline", "Poke" and "Like" have been around forever, both in general contexts and in computer contexts.

"timeline" appears in computer and website terms all the time. How can it be trademarked?!

BTW, Michael Crichton wrote a book, and had a movie made, called "Timeline", and that's already been like a decade or so.

Also, I have a study Bible with a "timeline" in it and that's about 10 years old now too.

The jury will see this, you fools, and in this case they'll side with Facebook.