TimeLines, a five-year-old social networking site based in Chicago, is suing Facebook over its Timeline feature. And on Friday, a judge ruled that the companies must face a jury trial.
The word “Timeline” was trademarked by Timelines.com, a social networking site, in 2010. Facebook’s argument that the term is too generic to enforce as a trademark was rejected by U.S. District Judge John Darrah.
Potentially strengthening the TimeLines case is a piece of evidence filed with the court that has CEO Mark Zuckerberg, when introducing the Facebook Timeline feature in 2011, remarking that the company “decided to focus in two places: all the stuff we want to do (products), and also wanted to punch anyone who tried to compete with us in the face really hard. You have to teach people who compete with you ‘don’t even fucking bother.'”
This kind of alpha male talk sounds similar to evidence submitted by the Winkelvoss brothers in their suit (“I’m going to f**k them…in the ear”) over Facebook’s founding, settled in 2011 for a reported $65 million.
The trial is set for April 22.