The latest legal battle in social media could be a pretty sharp one. The popular photo-sharing network Pinterest is being sued by a man claiming that a potential investor stole his ideas. Theodore Schroeder of Ocean City, NJ cites that he met with several people while attempting to expand on his idea of a “board”-related social media site, called RendezVoo. One of these venture capitalists was Brian Cohen, who eventually went on to make a deal with Pinterest which included, Schroeder claims, his own intellectual property. Mr. Schroeder is seeking monetary compensation upwards of $75,000, stating that it took time, money, and other resources for him to continue his attempts to build RendezVoo. Pinterest has countered saying the lawsuit, filed right around the holidays, is “baseless”.
According to sources, the plaintiff found out about Mr. Cohen’s involvement in Pinterest from his friends, who read the information in a March 2012 article by Mashable. Theodore claims that one of the main things taken and used without his permission or involvement was the idea of “infinite-scrolling”, similarly seen on other social media websites like Tumblr. This concept, along with the idea of using a “board” to share pictures, interests, and other content, are the central issues Mr. Schroeder is seeking compensation for. Comparisons are being made from this case to the old Facebook lawsuit which has always been a popular topic. Brian Cohen, who was born in Brooklyn, is viewed as one of the primary initial investors in Pinterest, which is currently valued around $7.7 billion.
It is often said that the best ideas are simply combinations of previously established concepts. Simply put, there are not a lot of new things to invent that are truly unique. With the recent expanse of information brought on the by social media explosion, it’s becoming apparent that the best way to be successful in these ventures is to get in early and hope for the best.