Pinterest has been sued by its angel investor’s previous business partner for implementing their shared idea without permission.
Brian Cohen has previously admitted he “doesn’t know” where the idea came from and said it “came out of nowhere”, but former associate Francois Schroeder claims that previous programmes they worked on together used the idea.
Cohen claimed the image-based social network feeds people’s natural desire to collect pieces about fashion and other related interests.
The main concern, however, is not the establishment of Pinterest, but rather the relation to that of the startup that led to the idea of Pinterest.
According to Cohen, Tote is the forerunner application. This is known as the first women’s fashion catalogue on iPhone.
However, Schroeder’s legal documents state that Rendezvoo and Skoopwire also used the ideas that he considers copied. The user interface, sharing interests with others and connecting to similar products are all points of mutuality that is frowned upon.
“It is illegal to steal an idea for their own benefit without regard to the person from whom it comes. In this case, Mr Cohen took part a business plan already exists, for which Mr Schroeder had more interest after appropriating ideas, solutions, Web applications and technologies without permission,” says the accusative lawyer’s statement as quoted by Punto Informatico.
Cohen is expected to compensate by paying out US$75,000 should Pinterest be unable to prove the accusations as false.
As they are bracing themselves for the legal battle, Pinterest declares these accusations are completely ungrounded.
The social network has recently been valued at US$1 million in site assessment and US$1 billion in overall estimation as Japanese company Rakuten made a move to invest.