Facebook, and its “Like” button, seem to be ubiquitous. Well, last week, Facebook and social bookmarking service, AddThis, were sued in the Eastern District of Virginia for willful infringement of two patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 6,415,316 and 6,289,362. These patents were filed by a Norwegian computer programmer, Joannes Jozef Everardus Van Der Meer, in the late 1990s. The ‘316 patent is directed to enabling a user to create a “personal diary,” which the complaint states “today would be called ‘social media.'” The ‘362 patent discloses techniques for automatic transfer “of third-party content from a content-provider’s website to the user’s personal diary page.” The complaint alleges that Facebook’s “Like” button and other features infringe the ‘316 and ‘362 patents.
In October 2010, Facebook announced a new Download Your Information (“DYI”) feature, billed as “an easy way to quickly download to your computer everything you’ve ever posted on Facebook and all your correspondences with friends: your messages, wall posts, photos, status updates and profile information.” The Facebook announcement included a short video detailing how to use the feature. Cnet TV has a more in-depth video. Craig Ball also wrote an article about this feature in the February 23, 2011 issue of Law Technology News.