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Trial underway in patent case against Facebook
Trial underway in patent case against Facebook; lawsuit says 'Surfbook' had technology first
By MATTHEW BARAKAT
Associated Press
2014-06-12 03:01 AM

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (AP) -- A U.S. jury is hearing testimony that Facebook infringed on patents held by a Dutch computer programmer who launched a website called "Surfbook" more than a decade ago.

A civil trial is underway Wednesday in federal court in Virginia, where Facebook is being sued by a holding company called Rembrandt Social Media.

The lawsuit alleges that a 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 fought unsuccessfully for more than a year to keep the case from getting to a jury. The company says the patents should never have been issued to Van Der Meer.

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