back to article Facebook sued by Chinese firm over Timeline

Chinese web firm Cubic Network is set to sue Facebook for nicking the idea and name behind its Timeline feature, after being prompted to do so by some friendly US lawyers. The Pinterest-like web start-up was founded four years ago by Harvard graduate Xiong Wanli, according to China Youth Daily (via MIC Gadget). <pXiong …

COMMENTS

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  1. Steen Hive
    Thumb Up

    Good!

    Maybe they'll have to get rid of that horrific pile of pish, then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Encouraged

      Encouraged to sue them by an American firm..........

      Wow and I didn't even register a flicker of surprise.

    2. Graham Marsden
      Devil

      Re: Good!

      Normally I dislike patent spats, but in this case I'll make an exception because maybe then FB will get rid of Timeline!

  2. frank ly Silver badge

    " ...allowing users to display videos and images in chronological order."

    That is the most original and inspired idea I've ever heard of. (I don't get out much).

    1. Ole Juul Silver badge

      Re: " ...allowing users to display videos and images in chronological order."

      I've heard that the Gregorian calendar is based on Facebook technology.

  3. nuked
    FAIL

    This is getting silly

    How can a company claim to own the concept of a timeline. Jesus.

    This is NOT a chicken and egg scenario. Timeline would be, and indeed is, pointless and devoid of value outside of the context of the functionality of facebook.

    1. Grikath Silver badge

      Re: This is getting silly

      It is never silly when US Ambulance chaseeerrmmmm... lawyers and piles of $$$$$$ are involved.

    2. Bored Stupid

      Re: This is getting silly

      > Timeline would be, and indeed is, pointless and devoid of value outside of the context of the functionality of facebook.

      and inside it too.

    3. vic 4
      WTF?

      Re: This is getting silly

      Eh, you saying that the other company have no right to this because their social network functionality is so lacking in functionality it it only makes sense when used in facebook?

    4. Chet Mannly

      Re: This is getting silly

      "How can a company claim to own the concept of a timeline"

      Well we have Apple patenting rectangles, how can copying a software concept and copying its name be any more ridiculous?

      "Timeline would be, and indeed is, pointless and devoid of value outside of the context of the functionality of facebook."

      Que??? I sort stuff by chronological order all the time outside facebook...

  4. Rabbers
    FAIL

    Old Tech

    I had a set of Encyclopedias bought for me when I was a kid. They were printed in 1973, and had several timelines covering several subjects "in print".

    Can lawyers be sued for advising pointless legal action?

    1. Chet Mannly

      Re: Old Tech

      "Can lawyers be sued for advising pointless legal action?"

      We all wish!!

  5. John Tserkezis

    I'm just amused...

    ...that the country that has been shamelessly stealing from the rest of the world for decades, is now offended that one company is , ahem, "stealing" from them.

    No irony here, nothing to see, just move on...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm just amused...

      I know it's easy to be racist when posting on forums, however the country of China has not announced that it is offended or taking legal action.

      It is one man/company and they are doing so on advice from American lawyers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm just amused...

        So what you're saying is that these lawyers just happen to be American and not under the direction of the American government??? Does that make your comment any more racist than the one you just directed the accusation?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm just amused...

      Just like when the USofA during the 19th century, when their copyright law did not apply to non-American, and thus they were allowed to pirate European authors as they wished?

      Look, it's all explained there in a convenient timeline (search for 1891 if you're in a hurry):

      http://www.arl.org/pp/ppcopyright/copyresources/copytimeline.shtml

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When is the case booked?

    Will they be using timelines in court to show the history of timeline use, I don't feel good about that.

  7. Wild Bill

    Nice mildly NSFW link there Reg. Cheers for that.

  8. g e
    Joke

    F8

    I think cameras have had that a tad longer...

    ;o)

    1. Chet Mannly

      Re: F8

      "F8...I think cameras have had that a tad longer.."

      Keyboards too :-P

  9. Gordon Pryra

    Chinese have a lot to learn still

    After all, you can't own timeline, its something that’s been done since Mammoths first appeared on caves.

    American legal companies however have a newfound injection of cash from naive Chinese who think they can get a quick win.

    All that’s going to happen is the case will get thrown out of court and the layers will get paid

  10. Alister Silver badge

    Isn't the Bayeux tapestry a timeline? It does, after all, display images in chronological order...

  11. TRT Silver badge

    Pfff... errr...

    I seem to recall it was a feature of Friend's Reunited as well, back in 1998 I think. And that social networking site from the same era, it makes me think of daisies... what the heck was that called? Green grass? Open fields? Come on, give a guy a hand here!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I prefer the FriendFace "history all in a row, kinda" feature

    I'm on it.

    Why aren't you?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Fuk Yu

    Showing things in chronological order and calling it a timeline is probably centuries old.

    1. Matthew 25
      Joke

      Re: Fuk Yu

      It may be a timeline, but is it a "Timeline" (tm)?

  14. Sarah Davis
    Coat

    dumb greed

    it's a great way of sorting the wheat from the chaff - dumb anal companies desperately try to make profit from suing for things they didn't invent

    you didn't invent chronological order

    you didn't invent a basic shape

    you didn't invent stealing other peoples ideas

    boycott companies who claim to have

  15. ravenviz Silver badge
    Trollface

    What is facebook?

    1. PatientOne

      @ravenviz

      It's a bit like facepalm, except you beat yourself around the head with a book at just how stupid things get.

      Presumably timeline is the order in which this happens.

  16. Steve Martins

    Patent Law Dicktionary

    Its difficult being a sane person in this world, so to help others like me I think its time a dictionary was compiled, only one entry so far but its a start:

    Non-Obvious: an idea that your pet hamster on a balance of probabilities would be unable to conceive of unaided*

    (* unaided implies said hamster is kept in a cage away from any visual, audio or textual information which could otherwise lead to influence of thought)

    1. Goobertee
      Holmes

      Re: Patent Law Dicktionary

      "Its difficult being a sane person in this world..."

      The way things are going, if this was true when you wrote it, it won't be long.

  17. Dig
    Facepalm

    Jeeze

    Picasa was doing this years ago, perhaps it has a novel and unique way of doing it, maybe based on star dates.

  18. long-in-tooth
    Linux

    Where have these lawyers been? Have they never put their holiday snaps on a time-line? Perhaps they have never heard of 'chronological'. If they don't know what that word means they should ask any historian.

    Are they going to sue every photosuit programmer who offers timeline facilities?

    Stupid

  19. Trev 2

    But the difference is...

    Timelines as in chronological type list details in a logical and ordered way which makes sense to 99.8% of the human population, even those not previously familiar with them.

    Facebook Timeline which basically seems to be the "profile" page (as the frontpage and such hasn't really changed in concept), lists things in a totally random order mixed up around the page with no reference to any date system I've ever come across, and therefore isn't a chronological timeline.

    Exactly what Facebook Timeline's purpose is however seems to be a total mystery, along with the equal mystery of why the heck anyone would want to lay prior claim to something resembling that mess...!?

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