Timelines.com, a small Chicago-based company, has filed a trademark-infringement suit against Facebook on Thursday on the grounds that the Facebook could "eliminate" Timelines' business.
Timelines.com is a website that lets people record and share personal or historic events, and contribute descriptions, links, photos and videos related to those events, people, companies, bands and so on. The lawsuit claims Facebook’s Timeline service could possibly put Timelines Inc. out of business, reports suggest. The complaint states
This matter seeks to protect Timelines, a small company headquartered in Chicago, that has been in business for almost five years, from being rolled over and quite possibly eliminated by the unlawful action by the world’s largest and most powerful social media company, Facebook. 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. In the event that Facebook is permitted to move forward with release of its “Timeline” product offering, consumer confusion with Timelines’ existing “Timelines” website will invariably result.
Timelines alleges Facebook is redirecting users from Timelines' Facebook page to Facebook’s own timeline page. Apparently, facebook.com/timelines used to be the official page of Timelines Inc, but now it redirects to facebook.com/about/timeline.
USPTO clearly states brands have rights to prevent others from using their name if there is a possibility that consumers could be confused.
Timelines is seeking damages and a temporary injunction, which would block Facebook’s Timeline feature from being released during the time it takes for the case to go to trial.


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