Surfbook was an early social networking service created by Dutch programmer Joannes Jozef Everardus van der Meer in the years prior to his death in June 2004. Surfbook was based on technologies whose patents were filed by Van der Meer in 1998 and granted in 2001 and 2002. It allowed users share their information with selected people and approve posts using a "Like" button, and to link to external information. On February 5, 2013, holders of the patents related to this site (Rembrandt Social Media, LP) filed a lawsuit against Facebook for infringement.
In June 2014 Facebook successfully defended itself against a lawsuit that claimed the social media company infringed on van der Meer's patents.
- Mullin, Joe (2013-02-07). "Before Facebook there was "Surfbook"—now pay up | Ars Technica, February 7, 2013". Arstechnica.com. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
- "BBC News - Facebook sued over 'like' button, February 11, 2013". Bbc.co.uk. 2013-02-11. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
- Nederlandse ontwikkelaars klagen Facebook aan: NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch)
- "Facebook Beats Surfbook in Patent-Infringement Trial". NBC News. 2014-06-13. Retrieved 2014-06-27.