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Pinterest is taken to court over alleged stolen ideas

31 December 2012

Pinterest lawsuitTheodore F. Schroeder from Ocean City, N.J and a former business partner of the early investor of Pinterest, Brian Cohen, is suing the company and Cohen for using design and tech that were his ideas. The story goes back to 2007 when Cohen and Schroeder were both working at a new startup called RendezVoo, where Schroeder was the main entity. The lawsuit alleges Cohen spent some time at the company and then later joined Pinterest, taking with him the ideas he had picked up from his time at RendezVoo. Cohen’s lawyer told AllThingsD via email about the lawsuit, “The bottom line is that it’s illegal to steal an idea for your own benefit without regard to the originator of that idea. Here, Mr. Cohen joined an existing enterprise in which Mr. Schroeder had a majority interest, and then took without permission or right Mr. Schroeder’s ideas, concepts, web application and technology.”

RendezVoo had a functionality, according to Schroeder, very similar to what Pinterest is now, even having  and layout plus boards and infinite scrolling. The orginal site had been a way for users to share their location with their friends; the boards where added later so users could share their interests.

There are other counts in the lawsuit, such as Cohen had made gentleman’s promise that he wouldn’t take the ideas to another company, betrayed trust to the former company and another is that Pinterest helped Cohen to incorporate the ideas. Schroeder is seeking excess of $75,000 in damages, while a spokesman for Pinterest said, the lawsuit is ‘baseless’ and they would fight back the allegations.

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