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.
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.
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