Facebook looks to be going to court over the ‘Like’ button that is an iconic part of the social network.
The Like button, and other features, are the subject of a suit being brought in Virginia in the States by a patent-holding company called Rembrandt Social Media. The company claims that Facebook’s success can be partly attributes to two patents that the company owns which belonged to late Dutch programmer Joannes Jozef Everardus van Der Meer.
The patents in question, granted in 1998, were apparently used to build a so-called social diary called Surfbook. Rembrandy Social Media’s legal representative claims that it “…was the beginnings of what we would say is social networking.”
Rembrandt Social Media’s lawyer Tom Melscheimer said in a statement “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.”
Rembrandt’s timing on the suit is a little suspicious considering that the patents have existed for several years prior to Facebook’s inception. Waiting until Facebook’s IPO had concluded makes the legal action seem more like a patent-trolling expedition than anything else.