Facebook is headed to court over its ‘Like’ button and other technologies the company has allegedly stolen from deceased Dutch programmer Joannes Jozef Everardus van Der Meer.
According to lawsuit filing firm Rembrandt Social Media, Facebook used two of Mr. Van Der Meer’s patents without permission.
The lawsuit was filed in Virginia and the plaintiff’s lawyer Tom Melsheimer claims:
“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.”
Mr. Van Der Meer developed his technologies for the failed social network Surfbook. Van Der Meer passed away in 2004.
According to the court filing the patents were approved in 1998, five years before Facebook broke out onto the national scene.
Using Surfbook users could share personal diary type submissions with friends and family. Users could the approve some data with the use of a “like” button.
According to the lawsuit Facebook is aware of the patents and has even cited them in its own patent applications for social networking technologies.
Also cited in the lawsuit is social media sharing and analytics firm Add This.
Facebook is not commenting on the lawsuit at this time.