Facebook, Chicago Settle ‘Timeline’ Copyright Claim

May 10, 2013

There’s a settlement in a lawsuit against Facebook Inc. in which Timelines Inc. alleges the media giant violated its trademark of the word “timeline.”

Word of a settlement came in a filing this week in U.S. District Court in Chicago. No details were disclosed. A judge is expected to formally dismiss the lawsuit.

In 2009, Chicago-based Timelines launched Timelines.com, which enables users to track historical events and their personal lives online.

Two years later, Facebook released a feature it called “timeline,” which similarly highlights users’ lives in chronological order.

Facebook asked the presiding judge to throw out Timelines’ lawsuit, arguing the word “timeline” is too generic to be trademarked.

But the judge refused, noting Facebook itself sought legal protection of common words it’s trademarked, including “poke” and “like.

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