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Facebook faces jury trial over Timeline trademark

Timelines Inc. wins a small victory in its trademark infringement suit against the social network.

Mark Zuckerberg probably won't add this company event to his Facebook Timeline.
Facebook has failed to strike from its own history an unfortunate matter involving the trademark for Timeline, the storytelling version of the profile that attempts to chronicle each member's life events.

The social network, which was first sued in September 2011 by Chicago company Timelines Inc. for infringement, now faces a jury trial, scheduled for April 22, over the mark.

U.S. District Judge John W. Darrah said today that Facebook was not able to invalidate Timelines' claim to the mark, Bloomberg reported. "At this stage in the proceedings, it is not unreasonable to conclude that as to this group of users, 'timeline(s)' has acquired a specific meaning associated with plaintiff," the judge wrote in the ruling.

Launched in 2009, Timelines.com is a Web site that lets users collaborate to document historical events. The company, which has 1,000 active users, is seeking damages equivalent to advertising revenue generated from Facebook's Timeline, Timelines attorney Douglas Albritton told Bloomberg.

When reached for a comment, a Facebook spokesperson declined to provide a statement on the legal matter.