Facebook Sues Teachbook: Why Is The Media & The Blogosphere So Upset? Will This Help To Change Trademark Laws?
The media seems to be ripping Facebook.com apart for defending its trademark rights against a new site TeachBook.com.
Mainstream media, welcome to our world.
Facebook.com filed suit again a new site called TeachBook.com this week and I have seen over 200 articles mostly all of which are highly critical of Facebook for the suit.
Moreover Facebook.com has apperately taken over a previous trademark application and is trying to get the word “Face” trademarked.
Some of the blogs are saying that Facebook is trying to corner the market on any domain starting with the word “Face” while other blogs say Facebook is trying to corner the market on any domains ending in “Book”.
Here is what others in the media are saying:
“Facebook is suing upstart technology company Teachbook.com. This looks like a “fail” for Facebook, and the giant social media company risks looking like a big bully on this one.”
“Going after a small website intended to help teachers with lesson plans is just not good PR, no matter how you slice it. The company’s aggressiveness in protecting its trademark against Teachbook might strike many people as trademark bullying. And if there’s one lesson that is true both in trademark and in life: no one likes a bully”
Even CNN.com got into the act, saying:
“Facebook’s…fight over “book,” on the other hand, has been more of a David vs. Goliath saga.”
Facebook, is suing Teachbook for federal trademark dilution, trademark infringement and unfair competition.
The complaint, filed in a California district court last Wednesday, alleges that Teachbook is “riding on the coattails of the fame and enormous goodwill of the Facebook trademark,”
Teachbook, based in Illinois, hasn’t even launched yet, but according to its homepage says it is a “teacher’s community” where users can share lesson plans and seek advice from fellow educators.
“Teachbook has created its own competing online networking community in a blatant attempt to become Facebook ‘for teachers,’” the suit alleges.
While Facebook doesn’t claim to own rights to the word “book,” it argues “if others could freely use ‘generic plus BOOK’ marks for online social networking services …. that would dilute the distinctiveness of the Facebook marks.”
The site even allegedly said it was going to launch as the Facebook for teachers until it took it down after the suit was filed.
Of course those in the domain industry, this is a familiar story.
Trademark holders trying to expand their rights to use the law to cut off all competition.
The outrage on this case is important as its there types of case that put the spotlight on domains and trademark laws.
It takes these types of cases, as well as the attempt of Facebook to claim ownership of any domain starting in “Face” or ending in “Book” to get the trademark laws amended to reflect the reality of internet business world.
Its 2010 the time has come to review and change existing trademark laws.