Several months ago, I remarked that the social networking industry is a fertile ground for trademark battles. See “Two Degrees Of Separation From Justin Timberlake.” In my prior post, I discussed the fact that Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”) had sued Teachbook.com LLC alleging various claims including federal trademark infringement, dilution, false designation of origin and others. Last month, the shoe was on the other foot when Timelines, Inc. (“Timelines”) sued Facebook for trademark infringement, false designation of origin and violations of deceptive trade practices.
Plaintiff Timelines registered the trademarks TIMELINES® and TIMELINEX.COM® in connection with its operation of the website called Timelines.com. This website allows users to record and share events and contribute photos, descriptions, videos, links and geographic locations. The lawsuit arose after Facebook announced an exciting new profile layout called Timelines stating, “tell your life story with a new kind of profile.” In the lawsuit, Timelines contends that it will go out of business if mega-giant Facebook is allowed to launch its “Timelines” layout. Accordingly, Timelines is seeking an injunction preventing Facebook from using this new layout.
This lawsuit appears to have delayed Facebook’s official launch of the new Timelines profile. However, I performed a quick search on the internet and found an articlethat claims a process for allowing access to the new Facebook Timelines now. Specifically, it contends that a user can sign up for the app developer program in less than five minutes. As I am not technologically savvy, I declined to try.
We will have to wait and see if the little company Timelines can block mega-giant Facebook’s new profile layout and save its company.