Patent wars are something very common these days. Companies want to make money off of every possible situation they get, and they want to do it right. We have seen the lot of smart phone manufacturers fighting for their share of the patents and not letting others do the same. And it is the same with websites and software as well. But today, we are going to talk about two websites.
There is one website which lets you maintain an online diary. You can write what you did or are planning to do every day on a daily basis. You can then share it with people if you want. And if people like your story, they can digitally like it by hitting the “like” button. All this in the form of a book. Now, does that sound familiar to you?
If you are thinking of the world’s biggest and the most popular social networking site, Facebook, then you are totally and absolutely…, well, correct in a way. This was Surfbook about a decade ago. The founder of the Surfbook service was a Dutch programmer named Joannes Jozef Everardus van Der Meer. It is being said that this is the man who invented the like button. And this person is going to sue Facebook over that. But wait, Van Der Meer is dead.
Yes, Van Der Meer passed away in 2004, when Facebook was still in its infancy. And Van Der Meer was awarded patents for his Surfbook in 1988, which may contain the like button as well. And these patents are with a patent holding company called Rembrandt Social Media. You can now connect the dots.
Rembrandt Social Media is suing Facebook over the like button and the company says that Facebook “bears a remarkable resemblance, both in terms of its functionality and technical implementation, to the personal web page diary that Van Der Meer had invented years earlier.” Van Der Meer’s widow, the rest of the family, and his colleagues are going to testify.