Facebook fails to end trademark infringement lawsuit over Timeline

According to Bloomberg, the popular social network could not demonstrate "as a matter of law, that the marks are generic.".

Facebook reportedly failed to end a trademark infringement lawsuit that began in September 2011 over its use of the Timeline and related terms. According to Bloomberg, the popular social network could not demonstrate "as a matter of law, that the marks are generic." It all began in September 2011, when most people in the world had not even seen the Facebook Timeline. Timelines.com, the company that sued Facebook, makes Timelines for on topics like, say, the Civil War. The website lets users create or view multimedia-rich timelines and has been around for about five years. The site has also partnered with publications like The Boston Globe to create timelines for different sports teams.


In his ruling, U.S. District Judge John W. Darrah in Chicago wrote, "At this stage in the proceedings, it is not unreasonable to conclude that as to this group of users, ‘timeline(s)’ has acquired a specific meaning associated with plaintiff."


When reports first emerged in September 2011, the company felt that if Facebook went ahead with its Timeline feature, it will essentially eliminate Timelines.com, as well as cause confusion that Timelines.com is associated with Facebook. 

Here's your new Timeline

Facebook's new Timeline design



Douglas Albritton, an attorney for Chicago-based Timelines, was quoted as saying, "We’re happy with the ruling." Albritton reportedly, said that Timelines is now seeking damages that are equivalent to the "Fcebooks's timeline-derived-ad revenue". 


A jury trial has now been scheduled for April 22, 2013. 


Facebook's Timeline has been one of the most widely discussed topics in recent times. It has also been one to generate a mixed bag of buzz in the user community. In fact, only last month, Facebook finally made its new Timeline design official. The new Timeline, Facebook claims, will help users express what's important to them. Just so you know what to expect, we give you a lowdown on the improvements that you will see soon. 


A refreshed appearance has been the most anticipated change in the new Timeline. Facebook says it is a result of the feedback that it received suggesting that the layout was "sometimes hard to read". On the new Timeline, all posts are on the right side, with photos, music and other recent activities on the left.  


According to Facebook, its refreshed Timeline has made it easier for users to manage the things they care about on their About page. The sections, like those for Movies and Books, have been redesigned too, giving users that much space to add their favourite movies or books to the list in addition to the space for friends and photos. 


Say, you're a movie buff, then the new Timeline allows you to add your list of favourites to the movies section. You could also use apps like Netflix or Flixster to tell your friends what you're watching. Those who love reading can maintain a list of books they'd want to read or add more to the list with Goodreads. What's more, if one of your friends reads this book that really got you interested, then you can add it to your own with the Add button.  

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