The U.S. Patent Office recently awarded Facebook a patent for its News Feed feature.  The patent, applied for in 2006, covers 25 claims. 

The News Feed is an integral part of social networking, which shares news update about friends. Information Week reports the description of the patent: “The method includes generating news items regarding activities associated with a user of a social network environment and attaching an informational link associated with at least one of the activities, to at least one of the news items.”

The patent also covers a process for limiting access and assigning an order to the new items.

As of now, Facebook has not made a public announcement regarding its plans for the patent.  Ownership of the update process could adversely affect social networking sites like LinkedIn or MySpace, the latter having lost much of its market to Facebook.

About 

Joel B. Rothman represents clients in intellectual property infringement litigation involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, defamation, trade libel, unfair competition, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and commercial matters. Joel’s litigation practice also includes significant focus on electronic discovery issues such as e-discovery management and motion practice relating to e-discovery.