A man has filed a lawsuit against Pinterest on allegations that one of its investors stole the concept of boards and other concepts and used it on the rising social network.
Theodore F. Schroeder, a resident of Ocean City, New Jersey, claims in the lawsuit that his website, RendezVoo, started with services for users to share locations, but developed into a community where members regularly visit to share ideas, perspectives, items, and preferences on different topics, including economics, events, politics, product and services. It said that users post these interests to “boards.”
The lawsuit adds that Schroeder, along with some partners, met with Brian S. Cohen, a venture capitalist who did not get the hang of RendezVoo and turned it into Skoopwire, a crowd-source wire service.
Schroeder alleges further that after driving the Skoopwire project into a dead-end street by questioning ownership stakes, Cohen approached and inked a deal with the founders of Pinterest, steering the RendezVoo idea into the popular service.
Liz Gannes, the AllThingsD writer who was first to report the story, interviewed a representative for Pinterest who said that Schroeder’s lawsuit against the firm is groundless and it will face the legal battle upfront.
Schroeder’s lawsuit says his friends had brought Pinterest to his attention but only found out about Cohen’s interest with the site later, when he read a Mashable story on March 2012 about Pinterest’s first investor.
Another RendezVoo concept that Schroeder alleges Cohen swiped for Pinterest is infinite scrolling.
The suit says Schroeder self-studied programming for thousands of hours to work on RendezVoo and related versions without remuneration.
RendezVoo went live and at one point peaked with a user base of around 5,000 members, claims the lawsuit.
Schroeder, a 2006 graduate from Columbia Law School, says he shelved a career in law while working on RendezVoo and now seeks damages much greater than $75,000, among other things.
Cohen never got back to Gannes after the latter sent a request for comment.
The full filing, posted by Gannes and represented by Schroeder and his lawyer, is available below.