Chicago partner Darren Cahr was quoted in a Bloomberg article, “Facebook Goes to Trial in Defense of ‘Timeline’ Feature,” that discussed the ongoing, high profile dispute between Facebook and the website Timelines.com over the use and trademark of the word “Timeline.”
In 2011, Timelines.com sued the social networking giant one week after announcing it was going to convert all user profiles to their new Timeline feature. Since then, Facebook has countersued the website contending the word “timeline” as too generic for federal trademark protection.
Timelines.com and Facebook were scheduled to go head to head this week to convince jurors of their cases. Some believe Timelines.com may benefit from trying its case to a jury and not a judge – and in fact, that has now become an issue in dispute.
Darren said that one fact in particular looked troubling for Facebook — after it completed its Timeline redesign, Facebook also made further changes to the site that redirected visitors looking for Timeline.com’s official Facebook page to a separate page advertising Facebook’s new feature.
“The fact that there was this redirection and that it went on for at least a week, that’s a pretty bad fact,” Darren said. “Trademark is about identity, it’s about who you are. It’s important to be able to craft a narrative around that emotive response: ‘They’re stealing who we are.’”