Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has won a patent trial that accused it of infringing a “web page diary” patent developed by a Dutch computer scientist in the 1990s. A federal jury in Alexandria, Virginia ruled that the patents in question are invalid and the social networker has not violated any patent, according to a report from Bloomberg.
On Friday, the jury produced a verdict in favor of Facebook following a week-long civil trial in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia.
Facebook gave a solid defense
Inventor Van Der Meer, who passed away in 2004, developed a technology called Surfbook. The feature helped people store personal information and third-party content on a personalized website and share the same with the selected group of friends. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s Timeline, Newsfeed, Groups and Photo Sharing features were accused of using the same technology.
California-based Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) argued that its features are based on a different technology. Furthermore, the social networker claimed the patents do not include new ideas, so they are invalid. The company also argued that Aduna, which is the company of inventor Van Der Meer, was too late in filing its claims. The suit has been brought only last year, which is almost a decade after the death of Van Der Meer and debut of Facebook.
In a statement, Sam O’Rourke, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s deputy general counsel, said that the company is pleased with the decision, which “affirms our belief from the very beginning that patents asserted by Rembrandt Social Media are invalid and not infringed.”
Rembrandt unhappy with decision
Rembrandt Social Media LP is the Pennsylvania-based company filed the case on behalf of inventor the late Joannes Van Der Meer. The company specializes in licensing and litigation for independent inventors.
Rembrandt was not happy with the rulings and proceedings. Earlier, Rembrandt’s expert on potential damages was barred by a district judge T.S. Ellis from testifying. During the trial, the company claimed that Ellis asked unfair questions to witnesses, which damaged the Rembrandt’s case in front of the jury.
A jury trial is a rare in patent infringement cases, and for this case, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) had been making an effort for more than a year to keep the case from getting to a jury. According to experts, jury rulings are unpredictable in these types of cases.