You remember that feature on Facebook that allows you tell your friends if you are posting from a nearby location? Well, you might not know that your favourite social network, Facebook stole it from a small company in Italy.

The matter became so serious that Facebook had to suspend the feature in Italy.

A court in Milan ruled last year that the social networking giant violated competition and copyright laws by effectively copying a similar app from a local start-up.

Italian software developer, Business Competence, filed a lawsuit in 2013, accusing Facebook's Nearby feature of having copied its Faround application, which helps users locate Facebook friends in the vicinity.

A copy of the court's ruling, issued on August 1, 2016 was made public by Business Competence on Monday.

The complaint alleged that the two applications are "extremely similar" in their functions and general set-up.

Facebook says it has discontinued offering what it now calls Nearby Places in Italy while it appeals against the court's ruling.

Facebook dropped what it called Places in 2011 but later revived similar features in Nearby, which also competes with products offered by Silicon Valley rivals Foursquare and Yelp.