London: Facebook has been sued by the family of a deceased Dutch programmer over the use of the 'Like' button on the social networking site.
The claim of patent infringement, issued in a Virginia court by a holding company called Rembrandt Social Media, alleged that Facebook used technology developed by Jos Van Der Meer over a decade ago.
Van Der Meer died in 2004, but his family has backed the action, the Telegraph reports.
According to the paper, Van Der Meer began work on Surfbook, described in the lawsuit as a "social diary", before his death in 2004.
In 1998 he was granted two patents: one describing a way of logging content from third party websites in the diary, apparently similar to Facebook's Like button, and the other a more general description of the diary, the report said.
The claim alleged that Facebook "bears a remarkable resemblance, both in terms of its functionality and technical implementation, to the personal web page diary that Van Der Meer had invented years earlier."