Lawsuit: Facebook Infringed A Dead Dutch Man's Patents For 'Online Diaries'

Zuckerberg europe

Photo: BI

A patent-holding company sued Facebook this week for allegedly infringing a dead computer scientist’s patent for “online diaries.”The lawsuit, which Ars Technica reported on Thursday night, is a pretty interesting read. 

Rembrandt Social Media LP filed the suit after acquiring the rights to inventions patented by Joannes Jozef Everardus Van Der Meer, a deceased Dutchman whose family believes he’s a social media pioneer.

The deceased man’s patents enabled regular people to share details of their private lives with their friends, according to the suit.

Sound familiar?

Here’s the heart of the lawsuit:

“Like the Van Der Meer inventions, the Facebook website gives ordinary people – those without special training – the ability to create a personal webpage diary, comprised of personal information and third-party content, and to arrange it chronologically.”

The Rembrandt suit might be a bit unusual because it was filed on behalf of a dead inventor, but it’s hardly the first attempt to claim that Facebook stole somebody’s idea.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.