Facebook’s Timeline Trademark Lawsuit To Go To Jury Trial
A U.S. District Court Judge has ruled that a lawsuit between Facebook and Timelines.com will in fact go to trial, after denying Facebook’s notion that the trademark-infringement lawsuit should be killed due to overly-generic trademarks, Bloomberg reports.
Timelines, a website to collaboratively record and share history, filed a complaint against Facebook in September, 2011, and sought a restraining order to bar Facebook from offering its Timeline service, but this was denied, according to records of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
The company was set up in January, 2007 and launched its Timelines.com website in 2009. It owns U.S. federal trademark registration numbers for “Timelines,” “Timelines.com” and for its “Timelines” design mark, according to court papers. It also operates a website called LifeSnapz.com and other services.
Facebook filed for a summary judgment on each of the claims of the plaintiff and on its own counterclaims, including cancellation of Timelines’ registered marks, which was refused by the judge on Monday.
Facebook “has failed to demonstrate, as a matter of law, that the marks are generic,” U.S. District Judge John W. Darrah in Chicago wrote in a ruling today. “At this stage in the proceedings, it is not unreasonable to conclude that as to this group of users, ‘timeline(s)’ has acquired a specific meaning associated with plaintiff.”
The judge said Timelines had millions of dollars invested in its business and more than a thousand active users.
The case is now set to proceed to trial before a jury on April 22.