Trademark Musings

Thoughts on trademark issues by Laura Winston

LAMEBOOK v. FACEBOOK – Hilarity Ensues and Sues

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Fans of the movie The Social Network know that after Facebook took off, there was a line out the door suing Mark Zuckerberg.  But when it comes to trademarks, Facebook knows that sometimes imitation, while the sincerest form of flattery, can be bad for trademarks.

Facebook is going after numerous uses of marks containing -BOOK, including TEACHBOOK, PLACEBOOK and now LAMEBOOK.  Actually, that last one is actually suing Facebook for a judgment declaring that it does not infringe or dilute the FACEBOOK trademark, after Facebook sent several warning letters telling they they’d better stop.

Called a “hilarious, advertising-supported site” by TechCrunch, LAMEBOOK posts user-submitted content taken from another social networking site (hmm, which one) that the submitting user finds to be lame and funny.  Well, I think hilarity is not likely to save this advertising-supported site.  It’s the typical case of trademark v. First Amendment rights, and despite my love and respect of the latter, I just don’t think the parody defense will save these folks.  The fact that they’ve adopted a font style and color scheme just about identical to Facebook certainly does not help them.  I’ll be watching this one.

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November 8, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

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