Yep, you heard it! The Los Angeles Times published the article Facebook sues start-up for using ‘book’ in its name. The small site Teachbook.com is the target of being sued. This site helps give teachers a leg up with their job by providing valuable resources to manage classes.
Personally I think Facebook just picked the wrong fight. It is not an infringement of their idea as there are sites that have been up far longer than Facebook with ‘book’ in it. Is ‘book’ trademarked? Who knows. I am not about to go through the search to find out. ‘Facebook’ is though… so why waste money suing over something that has no grounds. Makes me want to ask – “Who was smoking the peyote before this decision came up?”
If Facebook has all this time to look after small websites that focus on a niche, particularly on teachers, wonder what sites might be sued for having ‘face’ in it? Would have been better to spend that money on something worthwhile.
Regardless of money involved, trademarking ‘book’ should never be one of them and frankly, in my opinion may have been illegal. If it is too common, it should not be used. I am still a bit iffy on the whole trademark issues and wonder – do all countries have a similar process of trademark?
Who dictates what can be trademarked and how it should be enforced – or does a company just report that they think someone is purposely trying to make money off of them.
I looked into Wikipedia to just get a brief overview of what trademark really is.
Short definition-wise, Wikipedia states:
A trademark or trade mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities.
According to what I read at Wikipedia, there are policies in place that if a company wrongfully accuses another or even threatens another company over trademark issues. Hopefully something can be resolved. In this situation, Facebook needs to just grow up and let it go. If there are 500 million teachers out there, then that is when it might be a problem.
What do you think about this? Do you think Facebook is in the right or just wasting money and time?