Facebook sued over 'like' feature

Social networking platform Facebook is facing legal action over its 'like' button following a claim from a Dutch patent-holding company yesterday.

Facebook: Dutch patent claim

The feature – which allows users to shows their appreciation for anything from a photograph to an advertisement – was based on two patents filed by deceased Dutch programmer Joannes Jozef Everardus van Der Meer, claims Rembrandt Social Media.

Important foundation

The Dutch company has filed its claim in a Virginia federal court, claiming that Facebook’s rapid rise to success to based, in part, on two of Mr Van Der Meer's patents without permission, reports the BBC.
Tom Melsheimer, the managing principal of the Dallas office of technology law firm Fish & Richardson and representative of the patent holder, said: ‘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.’
Facebook said it had no comment to make on the lawsuit or its claims.


According to the claim, Mr Van Der Meer was granted the patents in 1998, five years before Facebook first appeared. Rembrandt now owns the patents Mr Van Der Meer used to build a social network, named Surfbook, before his death in 2004.

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