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Facebook facing legal action over like button

Facebook likeFor the 52% of the population that use Facebook, the “like” button has become part of standard, everyday conversation. Even for people who are not Facebook users, you could hardly not have heard of a Facebook like, or seen the thumbs up logo on a website or document. Facebook has dominated social media since it was launched nearly a decade ago.

However, the Facebook like button hit the news this week when it was revealed that a company is suing Facebook over its use of the iconic symbol.

Rembrandt Social Media holds patents that were granted to Dutch programmer Joannes Jozef Everardus van Der Meer in 1998, 5 years before college student Mark Zuckerberg created the social networking site.

He used them to create a social network site called Surfbook before he died in 2004. According to the legal firm acting on Rembrandt’s behalf, Surfbook allowed users to share information with their friends and family, who could approve entries in the social diary using a like button.

Rembrandt Social Media claims that the success of Facebook in part comes from Mr Van Der Meer’s patents, which were used without his permission.

The legal firm acting on behalf of Rembrandt Social Media said: "We believe Rembrandt's patents represent an important foundation of social media as we know it, and we expect a judge and jury to reach the same conclusion based on the evidence".

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