Facebook Sues Faceporn, Apparently Believing It Owns The Words Face & Book

from the so-my-bookface-site-is-a-nonstarter dept

Earlier this year we covered how Facebook was suing a site called Teachbook.com, claiming that any social network that ended in "book" was infringing on its trademarks. It's continued to do so, with at least a threat against the site Placebook. Of course, it seems that it's not only the "book" that Facebook claims ownership of, but the "face" part as well. Reader marak was the first of a few of you to point to the news that Facebook is suing the site Faceporn for trademark infringement (the article says copyright, but I'm pretty sure it means trademark -- isn't a publication like PC Mag suposed to understand the difference?).


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    ofb2632 (profile), Oct 26th, 2010 @ 10:39am

    how many 'face' names can you name

    how about faceplant??

    is that infringement?

     

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  2.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 26th, 2010 @ 10:46am

    Re: how many 'face' names can you name

    Egg on the face?

    Seriously, if judges could even act like morons in a hurry, this kind of crap wouldn't plague us.

     

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  3.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Oct 26th, 2010 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re: how many 'face' names can you name

    Hehe, indeed... amazing that things which wouldn't confuse a moron in a hurry can easily confuse an educated judge with all the time in the world

     

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  4.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 26th, 2010 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re: how many 'face' names can you name

    I showed Mark Zuckerberg my "Porn Face" one time. He said I owed him millions....

     

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  5.  
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    jjmsan (profile), Oct 26th, 2010 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Re: how many 'face' names can you name

    That was probably in damages for pain and suffering.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2010 @ 11:00am

    Look and Feel

    Well, the suit is about more than just the name. Faceporn has the blue bar, and has the general look and feel of the Facebook website. According to the exhibits filed with the complaint. Also interesting, the lead attorney for Facebook posted his own facebook page as an exhibit (page 56 of the 62-page document). The personalized ads he got? One was for a deposition service. OK, fine, but the second was titled "Are You Pregnant?" Did he just out himself (and his wife)?

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2010 @ 11:07am

    I just wonder when they are going to sue yellowbook.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2010 @ 11:12am

    Given this logic, they also own Ace, Boo, Ok, The letter F, A, etc etc...

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2010 @ 11:14am

    Wonders.....

    who wins on facepalm?

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2010 @ 11:15am

    I'm pretty sure the "Are you Pregnant?" ads are shown to anyone who selects "Married" in the marital status part of their facebook profile.

     

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  11.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Oct 26th, 2010 @ 11:18am

    Re:

    I don't see what this has to do with the topic at hand, but yes: Facebook targets ads based on user data and behavior. That's far from the only example.

     

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  12.  
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    DietrichC (profile), Oct 26th, 2010 @ 11:22am

    Re: Wonders.....

    Patrick Stewart? (sorry, couldn't resist).

     

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  13.  
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    James Carmichael (profile), Oct 26th, 2010 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re: Wonders.....

    Haha, yesssss.

     

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  14.  
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    Laurel L. Russwurm (profile), Oct 26th, 2010 @ 11:46am

    there ARE other body parts

    Now that facebook has given them such great publicity, all they need do is replace "face" with the common name for any other body part. Then they too can trademark it. Down the road they'll be able to sue (or if IP law continues getting more demented) arrest all those trademark infringers using their trademarked name in school playgrounds around the world.

    By seriously, why should any company be given any kind of monopoly on a word? Words are part of our common language and a common culture.

     

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  15.  
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    Mike, Oct 26th, 2010 @ 11:54am

    It's justifiable if a significant portion of people associate the name "FacePorn" with "FaceBook". I think of FaceBook when I hear FacePorn.

    I'm actually surprised such a simple concept is being missed by so many people. But hey, that's why I usually read the articles on TechSoil, another site that has absolutely no infringement on this one.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2010 @ 12:04pm

    So blue bars on websites are banned now?

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2010 @ 12:14pm

    So my upcoming site VisageTome is cool, then?

     

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  18.  
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    average_joe (profile), Oct 26th, 2010 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Look and Feel

    That's hilarious! I didn't notice that.

     

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  19.  
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    guest, Oct 26th, 2010 @ 12:38pm

    even worse

    they should really be going after fuckbook.com as it is advertised as the xxx face book.

     

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  20.  
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    PRMan, Oct 26th, 2010 @ 12:43pm

    Re:

    "The letter F, A, etc etc..."

    Uh, oh, Sesame Street is in trouble.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2010 @ 1:04pm

    Google

    Shouldn't Google be suing YouPorn then? What about RedTube?

     

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  22.  
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    Schoolteacher, Oct 26th, 2010 @ 1:09pm

    /facepalm

     

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  23.  
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    Jay (profile), Oct 26th, 2010 @ 1:20pm

    The scary thing is...

    We're going to have a LOT of people looking these places up because of the Streisand effect.

    So I have to ask, should we really call this an innovative strategy by having them sue every porn service that has "Face" or "book" in their name?

     

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  24.  
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    nasch (profile), Oct 26th, 2010 @ 1:27pm

    Re:

    Do you think Faceporn might be affiliated with Facebook? That's the standard*, not whether one use reminds you of another. If they're making their site to look like Facebook, there could be such confusion.

    * I don't know the exact legal language, but basically a reasonable likelihood of confusion

     

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  25.  
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    bob, Oct 26th, 2010 @ 2:04pm

    No Comments

    Regarding Fuck Book the face book of porn, I Am Dissipointed!

     

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  26.  
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    Laurel L. Russwurm (profile), Oct 26th, 2010 @ 2:04pm

    Re: The scary thing is...

    Oh yeah. FacePorn couldn't have bought the publicity Facebook gave them.

    And what's up with Facebook trying to lay claim to the word "book?"

    After all, Facebook is many things, but "book" is not one of them.

     

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  27.  
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    Laurel L. Russwurm (profile), Oct 26th, 2010 @ 2:09pm

    if we're going to allow trademarks...

    ... they should only be for made up words.

    Granting a monopoly on words in common usage is not good.

    Especially when you consider that some words have more than one meaning.

    Fantasy writers make up names all the time. If you want to own a word, make up your own, don't steal mine.

     

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  28.  
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    marak (profile), Oct 26th, 2010 @ 2:24pm

    Im sure if we sit down we can find a dozen different sites with the word book after some random title. And yay got a story posted :P

    Seriously though, who the hell do they think they are? Does anyone have a link to those pictures? The one's showing the sites are similar?

    And harking back to sesame street reference, does that mean the colour blue is out from their line up now as well?

    Or perhaps facebook now has the copyright monster? *nom nom nom*

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2010 @ 2:48pm

    Obviously, the layout was stolen. The plain white background, the boring blue rectangle design... No one could have thought that up but Facebook.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2010 @ 3:53pm

    Re: RTFA

    right - Mike good with the sensationalist cherry picking from TFA, missed the next paragraph:

    Facebook said that Faceporn " blatantly copied the Facebook logo, site, and Wall trademark," said court documents. In screen shots included with the court filings, Faceporn does have elements that are similar to Facebook such as a Wall and a blue and white design. Although users can't poke one another, they can "send a flirt."

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2010 @ 8:08pm

    /facepalm, wait, will I get sued now?

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 12:51am

    What a daft standard

    Really? A look and feel is enough to make one think "the companies might be affiliated?"
    I remember a billboard ad ages ago in London. Arty black and white pic of Gabriella Sabatini (women's vollyball player... probably why I remember), sweaty with ball under arm on left of poster, block text on right "The shirt only gets wet from the inside" with Nike swoosh logo on the middle of the text. On double sites this was often paired with a Mum (roll-on deodorant) ad in identical style next to it - Black and white pic of Mum roll-n, Mum logo and text "Not if WE have anything to do with it".

    Now probably it was an agreed deal and likely the same ad agency did both, but did it in any way make me think Nike and Mum were affiliated? Not in the slightest, it just struck me as a very clever piece of advertising - almost enough to make me think about using Mum deodorant.

    F*ckwits though many think Facebook might be, seriously? Oh look, Facebook have started doing porn? Or if you made the connection would you simply assume it was a parody at worst and move on?

    And yes I think this could be seen as a cunning innovative strategy for marketing. Perhaps Ms. Streisand should patent it... probably enough meat there for a patent these days don't you think?

     

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  33.  
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    nasch (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 12:43pm

    Re: What a daft standard

    Do you think Facebook is too smart to get into porn, or too stupid?

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Re: What a daft standard

    Do you think Facebook is too smart to get into porn, or too stupid?

    *grin* couldn't possibly comment. Although I assume if they did it'd go 1 of 3 ways:
    1. They'd do it within the facebook brand
    2. They'd create a different brand but it's advertising would be all over facebook 3. They'd create a different brand and go out of their way to ensure that it had no links or styles or anything whatsoever in common with facebook

    For that reason a glance suggests to me immediately it's nothing to do with them. Unless it's a double-bluff!

     

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  35.  
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    Josh Taylor, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 4:39pm

    "Face" and "Book" are generic words. Look how the Sci-Fi Channel changed its' name to Syfy, Facebook should do that too.

    This lawsuit over trademarking a generic words needs to be turned down.

    If the letters of the alphabet were to be trademarked, we will be forced to have a full frontal lobotomy and become like zombies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2010 @ 12:26am

    Re:

    Facebook should do that too.

    FayceBoooK? Catchy! (They can have that one for free ;-) )

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Josh Taylor, Oct 29th, 2010 @ 9:05am

    "FayceBoooK? Catchy! (They can have that one for free ;-) )"

    Not Funny. Come on, anonymous Coward, you're not being serious.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    rob, Oct 30th, 2010 @ 7:35am

    Re:

    Are you joking... it's nothing more than a clean design, straight lines and function.
    It's a style of design, not facebook's art!

     

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  39.  
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    tax cpe, Oct 31st, 2010 @ 3:10am

    traffic

    Maybe a lot of Facebook users were being redirected to Faceporn, especially when they get bored lurking? :P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
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    bZirk (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 10:00am

    And they eventually may own one of the words.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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