Facebook's Lesson in Naming Rights - NBC Bay Area

Facebook's Lesson in Naming Rights



    Facebook's Lesson in Naming Rights
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    Facebook is using a little-known website to teach a lesson in naming rights.

    The Illinois-based website Teachbook is set up as a "professional community for teachers." The site doesn't look like Facebook and at just 400 members, is nowhere as popular as the world's largest online hangout.

    Still, the use of "book" in part of its name is not sitting well with the social network giant so they're suing Teachbook, claiming the site "rides on the coattails of the fame and enormous goodwill of the FACEBOOK trademark."

    The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, seeks unspecified damages. But, as Wired explains, demands a judge to order Teachbook to immediately stop using "book" in their title.

    Here's a snippet of the lawsuit:

    Misappropriating the distinctive BOOK portion of Facebook's trademark, Defendant has created its own competing online networking community in a blatent attempt to become Facebook 'for Teachers. Despite Facebook's protests, Defendant has willfully and deliberately persisted in its misappriation of the Facebook brand, forcing Facebook to protect its user community and the strength of the famous FACEBOOK  trademark through this action.

    So, it seems, Palo Alto-based Facebook has a beef with "book." Apparently it's not as simple as that, as Wired tells us.

    Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt told Wired, "we have no complaint against Kelly Blue Book or Green Apple Books or others."

    "However, there is already a well-known online network of people with 'book' in the brand name." Schnitt told Wired via email. "Of course the Teachbook folks are free to create an online network for teachers or whomever, and we wish them well in that endeavor. What they are not free to do is trade on our name or dilute our brand while doing so.

    There's no hearing date set yet.