Facebook: two French people accuse the social network of plagiarism after the release of Rooms
What was the surprise of Frank-David Cohen and Damien Rottemberg when they discovered the launch of Rooms by Facebook via a article published on TechCrunch. These two French had just launched a few weeks ago – on September 18 exactly – an application allowing to compartmentalize its private social network, called Room. Now on October 23, Facebook announces an application that works, although relatively basic, but in any case very similar, although the design is different. “I don’t believe in coincidence, the Facebook team necessarily saw that we existed, they couldn’t ignore it. There are too many issues at stake on the apps, I can’t believe they haven’t been watching. The basics is to check if other applications already have the same name. I deduce that they had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that we already existed, under the name of Room ”protested Frank-David Cohen this Monday morning by telephone.
“Before the launch of the application, we were cautious about its stability when used by many people, which is why I had only mentioned it initially on my Facebook wall. And it turns out that among my Facebook friends, I have people quite high up at Facebook… ”assures Frank-David Cohen. He also maintains that discussions had been initiated at the same time to raise funds in the United States, and that the information of the name of their application was able to leak through this and reach the ears of Facebook. Contacted this Monday morning, the American social network has – for the moment – not responded to our interview requests or commented on the information.
“They prevent us from existing! “
To develop their Room application, the two French people who had met on the benches of Dauphine created a company in the United States last March, then asked in the wake of the filing of the “Room” mark with the INPI in France and the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office). In the spring, they had carried out a first fundraising in seed with investors like Jean-David Blanc – founder of Allocine -, Daniel Kahn – founder of Kahn & associates – and Hervé Bourgeois – VP of Cter. Objective: to finance the research and development part and to be able to quickly launch the application.
Today, the launch of Rooms seriously compromises their plans. “Having competition confirms the market, the problem is that they are called Rooms. By doing so, they prevent us from existing! »Launches the one who had already created three other companies (Controle X, Faisonsaffaire.com and AboutMyStar). A legal battle is looming, lawyers hired by Room are preparing a complaint to the United States which could take place “in the coming days”. “We have data which prove our anteriority” recalls Frank-David Cohen.
In any case, this is not the first time that Facebook has been accused of plagiarism, after launching applications using concepts similar to Snapchat and Instagram in particular. On the other hand, this is the first time that this alleged copy goes to the name of the application …