Facebook sued over Timeline feature

Facebook Timeline
A copied feature?

A Chinese web company is suing Facebook, claiming it copied its Timeline feature.

Cubic Network is a Pinterest-style start-up, founded four years ago. It launched its Timeline feature - which shows videos and pictures in chronological order, much like Facebook's - back on February 9, 2008.

Harvard graduate Xiong Wanli started Cubic Network, and held a talk at Stanford university about the Timeline feature. Mark Zuckerberg attended the talk, according to the China Youth Daily.

Facebook's own Timeline

Facebook launched its own Timeline feature in 2011, three years after Cubic Network's. It was made available to everyone in December of last year.

Cubic Network knew of the potential patent infringement when Facebook announced the feature, but only decided to bring about the action after consulting US lawyers.

Wanli also claims the logo of Facebook's F8 developer conference is too similar to Cubic's own logo. He notes Cubic Network's R&D centre was called F8 before Facebook named its annual conference.

Previous lawsuits

Facebook's very founding was the subject of a legal dispute between Mark Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss brothers. The dispute was the basis of the film The Social Network.

A Chinese company tried to sue Apple recently over the iPad name. Proview launched its iPad desktop PC back in 2000. Ironically, it actually looked quite a lot like an old iMac. Apple bought the iPad trademark prior to launching its tablet, but Proview claimed it committed fraud by concealing its identity.

Apple settled the case for $60m last month.

Via The Register

Joe Svetlik

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.