Mark Z. will surely dislike this news.
It looks like the LIKE button was already patented by someone who created a social site that has a feature that allowed users to “Like” the content of other users.
“LIKE” was patented by Dutch programmer Joannes Jozef Everardus van Der Meer in 1998, which is a feature of Surfbook, a social diary that Van Der Meer created. Joannes Jozef Everardus van Der Meer has passed away but the current patent holder – Rembrandt Social Media, LP – sued the networking giant as well as Add This Inc. for using the “LIKE” patent without permission.
Via PR Newswire:
“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,” says attorney Tom Melsheimer, counsel for Rembrandt and managing principal of Fish & Richardson’s Dallas office.
The case may not look as big as the other legal issues that FB is facing but if Rembrandt Social Media, LP wins this case, we may see them going after other sites or services using the “LIKE” feature.