Facebook is being sued over by the representatives of a dead Dutch programmer called Joannes Jozef Everardus van Der Meer who is supposedly the original creator of the "like" button and some other features used on Facebook.
Rembrandt Social Media has sued Facebook on behalf of the Dutch programmer and the lawsuit has been filed in the Federal Court in Virginia.
The company said Facebook's success was partially based on using two patents of the Dutch programmer without permission. However, Facebook has not yet made any comments on the lawsuit.
Lawyer Tom Melsheimer of the legal firm Fish and Richardson, representing the patent holder, 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,"
Van Der Meer had built a social network site called Surfbook before his death in 2004. The Dutch programmer was granted the patents in 1998 which is five years before Facebook first came into view.
Surfbook was a social diary (Van Der Meer called it as personal diary) that let users to share information with friends and family and also used a "like" button, according to court papers which is filed by the legal firm.
The lawsuit also claims that the Dutch programmer had created the idea for a "wall," "timeline" and "news feed" before the Facebook was launched, says Sky News.
The Dutch programmer established a company called Aduna to commercialize his inventions and also registered the surfbook.com website to start the pilot project, but died before the website was officially launched.
Now his family, including his widow, has tied hands with Rembrandt to fight against Facebook that uses the patents they claim to be theirs, without permission.
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