If you are a Facebook user then you probably click on the “Like” button now and then; probably when you see something you like, if we are being honest.
This might not seem like a big deal but it has been reported that legal action is going to be taken against Facebook for offering this facility.
The problem is that a deceased programmer from Holland seems to have taken out patents which Facebook have allegedly infringed upon. The programmer in question was called Joannes Josef Everardus van Der Meer.
A company called Rembrandt Social Media holds the patents and they say that part of the immense popularity of Facebook is due to the fact that they have used a couple of the patents without permission.
A Lawsuit Already Filed
The action is being taken on behalf of Rembrandt by the law firm Fish and Richardson. Tom Melsheimer is a lawyer with them and he said that the patents are an “important foundation of social media” and that they are confident that a judge and jury would agree with this view.
Mr Van Der Meer came up the idea of a social network called Surfbook before his death in 2004 and had got the patents sorted out way back in 1998, which was a number of years before Facebook appeared on the internet. Surfbook has been described as a social diary which incorporated a “Like” button in it.