Facebook has settled a lawsuit brought by Timelines, Inc. over the social network's use of the phrase "Timeline" to describe its user profiles. The company reported yesterday in an SEC filing that it had reached an agreement to resolve the suit, though terms of the settlement are unknown. Facebook lost an attempt to end the trademark infringement case last month, after it failed to convince a court that it was using "timeline" generically or descriptively, rather than as a product name. The two companies had been set to go to trial on April 22nd.
Timelines, Inc. initially filed the lawsuit in 2011, a week after Facebook's Timeline profiles were unveiled. Timelines, Inc. runs a similar online service that plots user-submitted events along a graphical timeline, and it has a federal trademark for the term "Timelines." In light of the agreement, Facebook appears to be able to continue operating using the Timeline name, having kept the product's branding prominent. The company also reported that the agreement's terms will have no notable effect on its operations, writing in the SEC filing that the agreement "was not material to our business."
Facebook declined to comment for this article. We've reached out to Timelines, Inc., and will update if we hear back.