‘BIG’ Facebook Bullies Educators in Lawsuit Over Trademark Infringement

Facebook Lawsuit Throws the -book at Social Networking Site for Teachers

Wired.com

Facebook has sued a little-known website for educators called Teachbook, claiming Facebook literally owns the “book” when it comes to naming social networking sites.

“Misappropriating the distinctive book portion of Facebook’s trademark, defendant has created its own competing online networking community in a blatant attempt to become a Facebook for teachers,” (.pdf) according to a filing in San Francisco federal court.

Facebook, with some 500 million users, is policing its trademark in a bid to prevent others from capitalizing on its famous name or diluting its value.
Facebook is not alone in pursuing trademark actions to protect household-name recognition. Facebook’s lawsuit follows recent threatened litigation by Best Buy against a Wisconsin priest who outfitted a Volkswagen beetle to look like Best Buy’s “Geek Squad” vehicle. The priest had painted “God Squad” on the beetle, but has since agreed to remove it. 

Facebook’s lawsuit Wednesday seeks unspecified damages and demands a judge order Teachbook, of Northbrook, Illinois, to immediately cease using “book” in its name.

This begs the obvious question: Would Facebook sue a social-networking site for priests named Goodbook? Or a librarian-networking site named Librarybook?

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