Facebook is facing legal action over its use of the “like” button and other features of the social network.
The BBC reports that the programmer, Joannes Jozef Everardus van Der Meer, created technology for a old social diary service called Surfboard. The patent holding service, Rembrandt Social Media, claims that Van Der Meer was awarded two patents for his work on the service in 1998, several years before the launch of Facebook. Van Der Meer himself died in 2004.
Rembrandt Social Media claims that Surfboard contained its own “like” button that was made for sharing information with family and friends, along with the approval of data. Rembrandt also claims that Facebook knew about Van Der Meer’s patents because they made references to them in Facebook’s own patent applications.
The company’s lawyer Tom Melsheimer 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 has not yet commented on the lawsuit.