Facebook are being sued (again), but this time it is over their new Timeline feature. By now most people are aware of the latest addition to users’ profiles that allows them to go back in time and see what they were up to in the past a lot more easily than the incumbent method of repeatedly clicking ‘older posts’ and scrolling down your profile.
However, a small company in Chicago called Timelines Inc., who operate the Timelines.com website are suing Facebook on trademark infringement grounds. According to their About Us section, “Timelines.com is the first web site that enables people like you to collaboratively record, discover and share history. It’s history recorded by the people, for the people.”
The lawsuit claims that Facebook’s Timeline service has the potential to put the small venture capital-backed Chicago company completely out of business. Here is an excerpt from their complaint:
“using Timelines’ federally registered “TIMELINES” trademark as the centerpiece of Facebook’s new product offering going forward, a move that, given the size and reach of Facebook, will essentially eliminate Timelines and leave the public with the confusing impression that plaintiff Timelines is somehow affiliated with Facebook.”
The suit also alleges that Facebook have hi-jacked the URL that originally took viewers to Timelines.com’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/timelines), with traffic now being directed to Facebook’s own page promoting their new feature, titled Introducing Timeline. You can read the complaint over on TechCrunch. Facebook have yet to comment on this matter.