Facebook has failed in an attempt to end a lawsuit over its use of the word "timeline".
The world's largest social network launched its Timeline feature, which effectively replaced the Facebook 'Wall', in September 2011.
Two weeks later Chicago-based Timelines Inc, which founded timelines.com in 2009, sued Facebook for infringement and unfair competition.
Facebook then retaliated with a case against Timelines which claimed their trademarks weren't distinctive enough to warrant a legal case.
But yesterday a court in Chicago ruled that the original case must go ahead because Facebook "failed to demonstrate, as a matter of law, that the [Timelines Inc] marks are generic."
District Judge Jown W. Darrah added: "At this stage in the proceedings, it is not unreasonable to conclude that as to this group of users, ‘timeline(s)’ has acquired a specific meaning associated with plaintiff.”
A jury trial is not set to begin on April 22nd.
A lawyer for Timelines said it was "happy with the ruling" while Facebook has yet to comment on the decision.