Facebook was ordered by a judge in the District of Delaware’s District Court this week to release its entire source code to Leader Technologies Inc., a web-based collaboration platform developer. Leader, based in Columbus, Ohio, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook in November 2008. According to Law360, Leader alleges that the social network has “deliberately infringed a patent related to the management and storage of electronic information.”
Facebook will have to give Leader a hierarchical map of its source code by the end of this week and the rest of its code by August 21. A Facebook spokesman sent the following statement via email:
While we respect the magistrate judge’s opinion, we disagree with it on this point and plan to appeal. Generally, this suit is without merit and we will continue to fight it aggressively.
The spokesman also added that the social network “wasn’t worried” by the judge’s order. When Leader filed the lawsuit in November, Techdirt and VentureBeat questioned whether the company was suing Facebook as a publicity stunt. This is a case we’ll be following closely and will update this post with more details as we find out more information. (Hattip, Real Geek aka Aditi.)