Chinese social network claims IP theft over Facebook Timeline

Chinese social network claims IP theft over Facebook Timeline

Summary: CEO of plans to sue social networking giant, claims he has video evidence of Facebook CEO attending lecture where he introduced feature.

TOPICS: Legal, China

The CEO of Chinese social network,, said he plans to sue Facebook, claiming that the latter's Timeline feature had infringed L99's intellectual property.

China Youth Daily reported Monday that Xiong Wanli claimed that in February 2008 had launched a feature that organized information chronologically.

Facebook's Timeline was first announced by its CEO Mark Zuckerberg last September, as part of wider changes to the site's features and appearance.

Xiong said the launch of L99's timeline feature was a matter of public record, adding he had video evidence that Zuckerberg attended a lecture he gave at Stanford University where he introduced the feature.

According to Xiong, United States-based lawyers have approached him to ask if L99 plans to sue Facebook.

Facebook's Timeline feature was also targeted in a previous lawsuit last year. Chicago-based Web site filed a trademark-infringement lawsuit against Facebook last September to stop it from implementing Timeline, arguing that its business could be "possibly eliminated" by the launch. Its request for a temporary restraining order was, however, rejected.

Topics: Legal, China

Jamie Yap

About Jamie Yap

Jamie writes about technology, business and the most obvious intersection of the two that is software. Other variegated topics include--in one form or other--cloud, Web 2.0, apps, data, analytics, mobile, services, and the three Es: enterprises, executives and entrepreneurs. In a previous life, she was a writer covering a different but equally serious business called show business.

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  • Sure is a lot of downward pressure on Facebook's stock...

    Thiel dumping 20 million shares...this potential lawsuit, replete with least one financial network (CNBC) devoting significant amounts of time to hammering Facebook's intrinsic value (of course, who knows what that means...CNBC is very careful to spice its programming with annotations that those who do the hammering do so of their owned volition. Ooops....I mean "own".).

    Makes me want to speculate....

    Especially since Facebook is now worth...let's see...$48 billion, market cap? And Microsoft's got what...$62 billion in cash on hand - and a stock price and 5-year trend that tends to generate the knee-jerk reaction of "In lieu of leadership, acquire!" reaction among the modern American CEO set (who are far more gifted at making money [for themselves, at least] via the acquisition and destruction cycle than through building as their predecessors did? to do. Profitable, sometimes.
  • Timeline is garbage anyway

    The problem is that Facebook crammed Timeline down everyone's throats. It's harder to read and NO ONE uses Facebook to "tell their story." They use it to either see what people are doing now, play pointless games ad nauseam, or to track/stalk/terrorist-test their communications online. Is anyone reading this who actually LIKES Timeline, and if so, why?
  • BS The Chinese have not come up with

    anything original in decades, copy it pirate it and call their own....
    • Oh please!

      Such clearly misinformed comments, bordering on racist, belie a complete ignorance of the subject in question. There are over 1 billion people in China. The idea that no ideas of value originate from China (let alone Chinese elsewhere) is absurd and ridiculous.
  • Really?

    He came up with ordering information chronologically in 2008 and he considers it his intellectual property? I've been doing that since 1995 and it wasn't the only way you could view information.

    This guy is seriously whacked.
  • The Knock-Off Capital of the world sueing for IP infringement

    That's a good one!
    • was thinking the exact same thing..

      Agreed. Pot.. meet kettle.
      • Overgeneralization meet specific instances

        What on earth does the overall nature of a country of over a billion people's economy have to do with whether or not specific examples of intellectual property theft have occurred?!?
        • Read the article..

          Someone else has claimed this was an infringement as well and they were denied.

          This isn't intellectual property theft.

          And if it was, it's WELL known that the Chinese government has a tendency to look the other way and drag their feet when it comes to protecting the IP interests of other countries. If the shoe were on the other foot, Facebook wouldn't stand a chance. Heck, the great firewall of China blocks Facebook from even doing business there. So clearly, Facebook isn't profiting off the Chinese people.
          • Oops..

            My mistake.. I guess I should have read the article better regarding that trademark infringement.. hehe My apologies on that point, deus.

            But I still stand behind the way China deals with outside business. You can't expect IP shelter from an opponents country while your own country doesn't even allow the opponent to conduct business within your borders. It's hypocritical to say IP infringement in this case is an unfair business practice given the circumstance. On a level playing field, that's a different story. But Chinese firms have the advantage here. If this sets a precedent, it will invite a lot of similar lawsuits in the future.
          • The point is

            that the O.P. here is trying to draw a connection between a generality (that the Chinese government suborns IP theft and that many Chinese companies engage in it) and individual acts of IP theft. This connection is a logical fallacy.
  • lol

    doesnt surprise me, Facebook is a bit like apple. They see trending things and then copy them.
    • And you are a bit like a troll

      Oh wait, you ARE a troll. You see something (anything) and post ABA garbage that has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

    Sounds Like Another Big Bank Money Scam The Wicked Are at it again

    Will Facebook soon start to go under from another new rival soon to be. Facebook looking for suckers to lose their money or should i say give their money away to them, the wicked. Sounds like another Big Bank Scam. Selling to slow in the head investors soon to be a lot of Worthless Paper. Sounds like Facebook is not selling but are stealing all the money they can and a lot of it tax free.

    The wise and smart will read the bible and get to know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    If someone really cares for giving out info, give them a Bible with red letter print. That is a red letter edition words that were spoken by are Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. With a Pray for them the lost maybe they will be saved, and not go to hell.

    You want to make Money install Solar Energy. Why keep giving your money to others.

    Pray your Name is in the Book Of Life not Facebook!

    Facebook sells your info to the wicked!

    The Lord's Little Helper
    Paul Felix Schott
    Paul Felix Schott
  • Good Greif

    Must have been a slow day in china, no hacking of the DoD today, so they need something else to occupy their time.

    Lets make up a bullshit law suit.

    I'm sorry mr chinaman, but you cant patent the idea of listing something in chronological order.

    Also someone might want to proof read these articles from Jamie for grammatical errors.

    " THE CEO of plans to sue THE social networking giant, HE claims he has video evidence of THE Facebook CEO attending A lecture where he introduced THE feature.
    Scarface Claw
  • Who asked for it?

    Did any facebook users ask for Timeline? Is there any way for users to disable it, short of leaving FB?
  • The US Has Been Pressuring China To Lift Its IP Game ...

    ... and when it obliges, suddenly USians aren’t so happy any more. There’s just no pleasing some people...