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 alleged the social media company infringed on van der Meer's patents, after a jury found that Facebook did not infringe the patents because the patents were invalid. The plaintiff (Rembrandt Social Media, LP) appealed the verdict, but it was upheld by a federal appeals court in February 2016.
- 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.
- "Facebook did not infringe Rembrandt patents on web-based diary systems; jury verdict stands". Wolters Kulwer. 2016-02-25. Retrieved 2018-12-26.
- "Opinion in Rembrandt Social Media, L.P. v. Facebook, Case No. 2014-1812, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (February 25, 2016)" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-12-25.