Pinterest, the widely popular interest sharing and pinboard site, along with one of its earliest investor is now facing a lawsuit slapped by a person named Theodore F. Schroeder from Ocean City, N.J. The lawsuit which was filed in a New York district court alleges Pinterest and an investor named Brian Cohen of “misappropriation, unjust enrichment and breach of fiduciary duty” simply meaning, Pinterest stole the Plaintiff’s idea.
Schroeder explains in the filing that he and his friends/partners first approached Brian S. Cohen for capital, to start their own website named RendezVoo. The idea behind RendezVoo was that of a place “to share opinions, views, items, and tastes on a variety of subjects — product, services, events, politics, economics — nearly anything of human interest.” Besides this first similarity with Pinterest the filing also claims that RendezVoo provided “boards” for people to post their interests, another UI feature that is an integral part of Pinterest. Schroeder further claims that RendezVoo (later known as Skopwire) made use of a concept called “linchpin”, which are now seen in Pinterest. Schroeder also lays claim to the “infinite scrolling” UI.
The filing explains, Cohen purposefully made sure RendezVoo never blossomed into what it was originally meant to be, so that he could use the idea for himself – which he did after he invested in Pinterest. The lawsuit filing states Schroeder did not file a complaint earlier because, though he was aware of the existence of Pinterest he came to know about the involvement of Cohen with Pinterest only after reading an article on Mashable published on March 11 this year, titled “Pinterest’s First Investor Explains the Secret to the Startup’s Success.”
Pinterest, which of course denies the charges told AllThingsD – where the story first broke out – through a spokesperson that “The lawsuit against Pinterest is baseless and we will fight it aggressively.”
The Plaintiff is asking for several monetary compensations, which include “an award of compensatory damages substantially in excess of $75,000, a constructive trust over earnings derived from Pinterest, an award of pre- and post-judgment interest at the legal rate and an award of the costs and disbursements of this action, including reasonable attorneys’ fees.”