Why we are suing Facebook and a request for help
Much has been written and said about our suit against Facebook for infringing upon our registered trademark "Timelines", and we've heard from people who are understandably confused by the whole issue. We'd like to let you know our reasons for doing this and ask for your help.
Why we are doing this
Our company owns a valid trademark on the term "Timelines" that is for a particular application, specifically for "providing a web site that gives users the ability to create customized web pages featuring user-defined information about historical, current and upcoming events." We've spent years building this brand and using it in the above stated way on our site Timelines.com.
Facebook, a company that has applied for or trademarked the terms "Face", "Wall", and "Like" as well as sued others for using "Book" in their names, is using the name "Timeline" for a new product that is focused on how people express and share events and history online. Facebook either knew or should have known (given their rigorous defense of their own intellectual property) that the US Patent and Trademark Office granted us this trademark. People at Facebook could have at least contacted us for permission to use or license the name. They did not.
You may remember that we recently broke a story about a small company called Timelines Inc, which filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Facebook. According to the lawsuit documents, Timelines claims that Facebook’s recently announced Timeline feature could “quite possibly eliminate” its entire business.
The Chicago company operates a website called Timelines.com, which allows people to record and share personal or historic events, and contribute descriptions, links, photos and videos related to those events, people, companies, bands and whatnot. Understandably, they’re not too happy.
The lawsuit is still ongoing – although the U.S. District Court in Chicago recently rejected a temporary restraining order request from Timelines – so there isn’t all that much news to report.
Timelines, however, felt that the coverage the lawsuit has enjoyed so far has created some confusion, so now the company wants to set the record straight with an open letter.