Facebook claims trademark over ‘book’ in latest user agreement update

Trademark-Symbol_219Did you know that Facebook is claiming a trademark over the word “book”? It has even revised its user agreement to add “book” to the list of trademarks users agree, by accessing the site, not to use without Facebook’s written permission.

This springs from a series of trademark lawsuits or complaints that Facebook has been launching against various other sites that name themselves “(something)book”, such as Teachbook, Lamebook, and Placebook. (Because, clearly, nothing else was ever called "(something)book” before Facebook.)

The funny thing is, “book” isn’t actually even trademarked to Facebook in the US. (It’s pending in Europe, but is opposed due to likelihood of confusion so may not go through.) Even if it was, of course, the trademark would only apply in a social media context—it wouldn’t mean that Facebook could sue businesses for calling themselves “bookstores”, for example. But it sure does sound silly, doesn’t it?

4 Comments on Facebook claims trademark over ‘book’ in latest user agreement update

  1. I don’t see how that could possibly be enforceable. Or legal.

  2. Carol Moseley // March 24, 2012 at 7:18 pm //

    this is why the world is falling apart, someone keeps trying to do stupid stuff, so FACEBOOK, whats the matter you don’t get enough money as it is, and who is going to collect on something everyone already says you idiots………you do realize that you are no longer the only game in town, we all could stop using your stuff altogether…………..

  3. You can’t trademark a word in common usage.

    Apple’s Powerbook was around long before Facebook, and Apple has more lawyers than they do and loves lawsuits so they better watch who they threaten with lawsuits on this one.

  4. As I uderstand it, Facebook, the computer program, was inspired by facebook, the physical objects, that had been in use for many years at an American university. (Was it Harvard?)

    So perhaps the University in question could sue Facebook, the computer software company, for a couple of billon dollars for appropriating the basic concept and the name.

    Gary

Leave a Reply

wordpress analytics