‘Face’ and ‘book’ may be common words in the English dictionary, but as far as Facebook is concerned, the act of using either of these two words for any online-related networking service constitutes an attack on its trademarks. And the latest website to get sued for doing so? An adult online social-networking site known as…you guessed it, Faceporn.
Read on to find out more.
If you thought that Apple suing companies for using the ‘Pod’ name in their products was an excessively heavy-handed reaction to protect its trademarks, Facebook’s actions will probably make even Apple appear considerably mild. Especially when one takes into consideration that the popular online social networking site has just recently sued Faceporn, an X-rated social network, for copying its trademarks and riding on its brand name.
In its complaint, Facebook alleged that in addition to making use of the ‘face’ word (which it claims ownership over) in its service’s name, Faceporn had also “blatantly copied the Facebook logo, site and Wall trademark” for use in its website.
The company had reportedly included various screen shots in its court filings to back its claim that Faceporn has infringed on its copyrights and trademarks by highlighting the similarities in both layout and design between both social networking sites.
Facebook spokesman Simon Axten has confirmed the lawsuit, claiming that Facebook had the right to enforce what it calls the protection of its own trademark.
“We don’t believe Faceporn should be able to trade on our name and dilute and tarnish our brand while doing so,” he said. “Where there is brand tarnishment, dilution, or confusion as there is with Faceporn and Facebook, we must enforce our rights to protect the integrity of our trademark.”
The company is also demanding that the court orders Faceporn’s operator Thomas Pederson to surrender both the Faceporn domain name and all of the site’s revenue since its inception to Facebook.
A quick check revealed that Faceporn was offline at the time this article was published, although the site claimed that its administrators were working to launch a completely new version of the adult social networking service.
This is not the first time Facebook has gone to the courts in an attempt to prevent other social networking operators from using the words ‘face’ and ‘book’ in their service’s name. Two months ago, the company filed a similar lawsuit against Teachbook for making use of the ‘book’ word in its name, despite the fact that it does not resemble the popular online social-networking service in any way.
Source: PC Magazine