We have just learned that a company called Friendthem which has developed a mobile app with the same name is likely to sue Facebook for allegedly stealing the idea for the newly-revealed Facebook feature called Find Friends Nearby.
Remember Find Friends Nearby? We were one of the first sites to talk about it after word about the new feature was leaked to TechCrunch.
Basically, Find Friends Nearby is a feature that lets people easily find and friend other people nearby. It can be accessed via a mobile site or via Facebook’s mobile app.
Those logged into Facebook and have the Find Friends Nearby feature open via webpage or Facebook app will see other people who also have the feature open.
If you want to know more about it and how it can be a dangerous thing despite its obvious uses, read more of our previous article here.
Anyway, we’ve just received word from Friendthem that they expect to “commence lawsuit shortly” against Facebook because of this new feature.
According to Friendthem Chief Executive Officer Charles Sankowich, he told Facebook about his company’s idea back in February, and now Facebook has allegedly stolen it.
It’s interesting, to say the least, to hear about this as in our previous report, we noted a Facebook software engineer named Ryan Patterson commenting “I built Find Friends Nearby with another engineer for a hackathon project” on the TechCrunch report which started it all.
Friendthem LLC says that this is Facebook “blatantly stealing” their idea. They own a trademark on “friendthem” which was awarded to them two years ago and they also own trademarks for “life happens when people connect”, “life happens when you connect”, and “you never know what a friend request can lead to”.
Below is Frienthem CEO Charles Sankowich’s full statement:
“I was amazed on Sunday to read that Facebook is blatantly stealing our idea with what they are calling, ‘Find Friends Nearby.’ Facebook engineer Ryan Patterson claims the feature was born at a hackathon as ‘Find Friends Nearby,’ but we believe they simply stole trademarked materials of Friendthem.com.
More than two years ago we trademarked ‘Friendthem’ and have had tremendous success and exposure with this concept.
Even their language is similar to what has been on our website for year’s now– ‘Friendthem is a location-based mobile app designed to help you make connections with people near you. Use the Friendthem app to follow up on missed connections for work and personal.
We are consulting attorneys and assuming this is true and expect to commence a lawsuit very shortly. One would think that Facebook would have learned to play fair after being through the mud previously with legal difficulties, but now they are doing it again.
We may not be billionaires but we are damn tough New York entrepreneurs, and we believe in this idea and will keep working to connect people.”
Another interesting thing to note is that a user named Josh Southern has commented on our previous article about Friendthem saying:
“Facebook thought they had something original.. Little did they know there is a app out right now that has been doing this feature for a year now. Check it out www.friendthem.com.
Make Connections Seamlessly with Friendthem!
Life happens when people connect. ™
Location-based Friend Requests – Imagine you meet someone at a party, a conference, or even out for a walk. This could potentially lead to a date, a new job, or just a great friendship. As you part ways, this person says ‘Facebook me’ and then disappears. Friendthem is a location-based app which helps you find that person and send a friend request.
Image from afsart on Flickr (CC)