Facebook files complaint against Boston Phoenix parent company citing patent infringement

facebook-mouseBoth patents relate to ways a website can manage information, as reported by Bloomberg.

Facebook has filed its complaint today in federal court in Boston against Phoenix Media/Communications Group Inc. and its People2People Group, Tele-Publishing and FNX Broadcasting units. How did this come to be? Well the story began last year when Tele-Publishing filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Facebook.

In the case filed last year, Facebook challenged the validity of a Tele-Publishing patent that renders personal pages, arguing it isn’t using their technology. Facebook’s counter complaint was originally made against Phoenix Media in July as part of the earlier case. However, a U.S. District Judge ordered in October that Facebook file a separate lawsuit in order to pursue these two copyright infringement claims.

The heart of Facebook’s claim lies in the  “band guide” and “find restaurants” sections of Boston Phoenix’s website as well as the online music player used by the radio station WFNX.  It’s seeking cash compensation and wants the court to order Phoenix Media to cease using those items on its site.

Officials with Phoenix Media have no immediately responded with a comment.

The case is Facebook Inc. v. Phoenix Media/Communications Group Inc., 10cv11917, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Boston). The earlier case is Tele-Publishing Inc. v. Facebook Inc., 09cv11686, also in Boston.

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