ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Facebook has successfully defended itself against a lawsuit that claimed the company infringed on patents held by a Dutch programmer who launched a website called “Surfbook” more than a decade ago.
A holding company called Rembrandt Social Media had alleged that a now-deceased Dutch computer whiz, Joannes Van Der Meer, developed and patented methods for running a Web-based personal diary before Facebook came into existence. But his website, Surfbook, never got off the ground.
Facebook said the patents should never have been issued to Van Der Meer.
A jury in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia returned the verdict Friday in favour of Menlo Park, California-based Facebook Inc.
Patent-infringement cases rarely make it to a jury trial. Facebook fought for a year to keep the case from getting to a jury.