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updated: 4/4/2013 8:01 AM

Judge: Chicago firm can sue Facebook

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  • Timelines launched a website called Timelines.com in 2009, enabling users to track historical and personal events.

      Timelines launched a website called Timelines.com in 2009, enabling users to track historical and personal events.

 
Associated Press

Associated Press

A judge says Chicago-based Timelines Inc. can sue Facebook for allegedly infringing on the smaller firm's trademark of the word "timeline."

Facebook asked a federal judge in Chicago to throw out Timelines' lawsuit because the word "timeline" is too generic to trademark.

But in a 23-page ruling posted this week, U.S. District Judge John Darrah disagreed.

He notes Facebook itself has fought to protect trademarked words such as "poke" and "like." His ruling means a trial in the civil case can go ahead on April 22.

Timelines launched a website called Timelines.com in 2009, enabling users to track historical and personal events. Two years later, Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook launched a similar feature it called "timeline."

On Tuesday, Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes declined any comment on the ruling.

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