Facebook faces court case over Timeline feature

Facebook lost a bid to end a trademark-infringement dispute over its Timeline feature yesterday (April 1st).

The social media giant was sued in 2011 by Timelines – a website launched in 2009 that documents historical events – and now faces a jury trial, which will take place on April 22nd.
Despite the fact Facebook counter-sued Timelines and stated its mark is not sufficiently distinctive to warrant protection, US district judge John Darrah said the company was not able to invalidate its claim to the mark or show it is generic.

“At this stage in the proceedings, it is not unreasonable to conclude that as to this group of users, ‘timeline(s)’ has acquired a specific meaning associated with plaintiff,” he added.
While a spokesman for Facebook did not provide a response regarding the proceedings, Timelines’ attorney Douglas Albritton said he and his client – which is seeking damages equivalent to Facebook’s timeline-derived ad revenue – are happy with the ruling.

The social media network’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced the Timeline feature, which lets consumers record major events in their lifetime online, in 2011.