Judge: Firm can sue Facebook over `timeline' - KMSP-TV

Judge: Firm can sue Facebook over `timeline'

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (Associated Press) -

A Chicago-based social media company called Timelines Inc. can sue Facebook Inc. over allegations that it violated the smaller firm's trademark on the word "timeline," a federal judge ruled.

Timelines launched a website called Timelines.com in 2009 that enables users to track historical events and their personal lives online. Two years later, Facebook Inc. launched a major new feature it called "timeline," which similarly allows users to highlight their lives online in chronological order.

The Chicago company filed its lawsuit weeks after Facebook introduced its "timeline" feature.

Facebook had asked a federal judge in Chicago to throw out Timelines' suit, arguing, among other things, that the word "timeline" is too generic to be trademarked.

But in a 23-page ruling posted this week, U.S. District Judge John Darrah disagreed, noting Facebook itself has battled hard in the courts to protect words it's trademarked, including "poke" and "like."

Timelines.com has just over 1,200 registered users, the ruling said. Facebook has said recently it has around a billion.

Darrah's ruling giving the suit the green light means a jury trial can start as scheduled on April 22.

A spokesman for Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook, Andrew Noyes, declined any comment on the ruling. A Timelines' attorneys, Douglas Albritton, said he was "pleased" and declined further comment.

Follow Us!

Share Your Photos & Video

  • Metro HeadlinesMore>>

  • Report: Number of single moms in US doubles

    Report: Number of single moms in US doubles

    Friday, April 18 2014 9:08 AM EDT2014-04-18 13:08:26 GMT
    A recent report shows the number of babies born to unmarried mothers has more than doubled since the 1980s.
    A recent report shows the number of babies born to unmarried mothers has more than doubled since the 1980s.
  • Boy, 12, shot on far South Side Thursday night

    Boy, 12, shot on far South Side Thursday night

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:54 AM EDT2014-04-18 12:54:11 GMT
    Chicago Police are investigating after a 12-year-old boy was shot on the city's far South Side Thursday night.
    Chicago Police are investigating after a 12-year-old boy was shot on the city's far South Side Thursday night.
  • Tinder causing concern among parents

    Tinder causing concern among parents

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:42 AM EDT2014-04-18 12:42:40 GMT
    Fox 32's Tisha Lewis reports, on a scale between 1 and 10, Naperville police rate the problem of dating sites being used by underage students in school an eight.
    Fox 32's Tisha Lewis reports, on a scale between 1 and 10, Naperville police rate the problem of dating sites being used by underage students in school an eight.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices