Facebook sued over ‘like’ button

San Francisco - Facebook is getting thumbs down over its ubiquitous “like” button. A company called Rembrandt Social Media has filed suit against the social networking giant in the US, claiming that the like button infringes on patents it holds, according to a news release.

“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,” said attorney Tom Melsheimer, of the global law firm Fish & Richardson.

Use the 'like' button to effect positive change. Credit: AFP

The lawsuit, filed last week in the US District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia, claimed that Facebook violated two patents that were issued to Dutch programmer Joss van Der Meer in 1998 five years before Facebook first appeared.

Van Der Meer developed one of the first social networks called Surfbook which allowed people to share information with friends using a “like” button, according to the lawsuit. - Sapa-dpa