Facebook Continues its Litigation Trend – The Next Target: Lamebook
Facebook has grown decidedly litigious this past year in suing other companies that it claims are confusingly similar to its very famous ‘Facebook’ mark. While this past Summer it was Teachbook that was in trouble with Facebook’s heavy hitting legal counsel in a lawsuit, now their latest target is Lamebook, a site that hosts “the funniest and lamest of facebook.”
Facebook continues to make the claim that their mark is so strong that anyone who uses the term “book” in connection with social networking services will confuse consumers into thinking that the potential infringer is affiliated with Facebook. What makes this new case interesting is that Lamebook does not offer any social networking services, but rather entertainment services. In order to be successful in its claims, Facebook must either show that marks containing the suffix “book” in entertainment services in addition to networking services infringe on Facebook’s marks, or that Facebook’s marks are so famous that even a substantially different mark such as ‘lamebook’ dilutes their mark.
Lamebook and Facebook had been engaging in discussions regarding possible infringement for some time before these companies took their issues to court. Interestingly enough, it was Lamebook that first initiated a lawsuit by asking the US District Court for the Western District of Texas to declare that their use of ‘Lamebook’ did not infringe Facebook’s trademark. Facebook responded by filing its own lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California claiming that Lamebook is liable for trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition.
Lamebook has file for registration of their mark with the USPTO and their application is still pending. Regardless of their USPTO application, it will be the result of these lawsuits that will determine whether Lamebook will be able to keep its name.
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