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Chicago Firm Sues Facebook Over Timeline

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    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pauses as he delivers a keynote address during the Facebook f8 conference on September 22, 2011 in San Francisco.

    Facebook's upcoming changes to profiles may have been hailed as the "greatest thing" the social networking company has ever done, but at least one Chicago-based startup begs to differ.

    Timelines.com, with an office on West Berteau Avenue on the city's north side, filed a trademark-infringement suit against Facebook on Thursday, alleging that Timeline -- the name given to the next iteration of profiles -- would confuse users into thinking the two companies are affiliated.

    "Facebook has announced its intention to use and, indeed has already begun to re-direct Internet traffic, using Timelines’ federally registered "TIMELINES" trademark as the centerpiece of Facebook’s new product offering going forward, a move that, given the size and reach of Facebook, will essentially eliminate Timelines and leave the public with the confusing impression that plaintiff Timelines is somehow affiliated with Facebook," the suit claims. 

    The suit also claims that Facebook hijacked Timeline.com's URL on the social networking site (facebook.com/timelines), but a check of that address on Friday appeared to go to the correct destination.

    Facebook's Timeline product, announced last week at the company's F8 conference, aims to better chronicle a user's life by preventing smaller, frequent posts from burying the larger, more important life events one might want to share and highlight. Conversely, Timelines.com describes itself on its site as a service "that enables people like you to collaboratively record, discover and share history."

    The Chicago company was granted registered trademarks for "Timelines" (U.S. Reg. No. 3,684,074), "Timelines.com" (U.S. Reg. No. 3,764,134), and "Timelines & design" (U.S. Reg. No. 3,784,720), TechCrunch.com noted

    Suit: Timelines v. Facebook (.pdf)