updated 09:57 pm EST, Fri December 28, 2012
Skoopwire and Rendezvoo allegedly spawned key Pinterest features
A lawsuit filed on Thursday claims that Pinterest founder Brian Cohen misappropriated the concept and idea for social media sharing website Pinterest. The suit details development of failed sites Rendezvoo and Skoopwire, developed by filer Theodore Schroeder and two of his Columbia Law classmates. Pinterest believes that "the lawsuit against Pinterest is baseless" and intends on fighting it in court.
Attorney Richard Scheff of Montgomery McCracken, Schroeder's attorney, said in regards to the suit that "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."
Schroeder believes that his time working with early Pinterest investor Brian Cohen during 2007 and 2008 generated ideas that were then misappropriated for use in Pinterest in 2009. He claims that the business plan for Rendezvoo was to "connect things that mattered to a user with other users," including images, hyperlinks, and text descriptions of interesting subjects, which Schroeder believes that "Pinterest is nearly an exact match of this same concept."
Skoopwire, the spinoff site of Rendezvoo, was tailored toward "product discovery through socially-networked product launches." The filing claims that "Pinterest's primary business model, as described in the media, is product discovery through friends."
Other similar features claimed to be developed for Rendezvoo and Skoopwire include the "infinite scroll" feature which allows for "enticing users to remain on the website." Furthermore, the Rendezvoo founder claims that its adoption of a pink and purple color scheme in an attempt to attract women to the site is a reason to sue Pinterest given the latter's "practices that target females."