Facebook Loses Infringement Lawsuit In Germany Over Copycat Site

from the competition-ain't-bad dept

This is a bit of a surprise, as it appears that Facebook has lost a lawsuit in Germany against a site it accuses of copying Facebook (but in German). It’s certainly true that the sites look quite similar, but the German court basically says that looking close is meaningless. If there’s no confusion in what site people are on, there’s really not much of an issue. And while the sites do have a lot of similarities, being on StudiVZ it’s clear that the site is different from Facebook. While this may just be a German court protecting a local company against an American competitor, it seems like a good ruling from a policy perspective. Let the sites compete in the marketplace, rather than worrying about who copied what from whom.

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Companies: facebook, studivz

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Comments on “Facebook Loses Infringement Lawsuit In Germany Over Copycat Site”

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Big Al says:

Bad Car Analogy

Ok, let’s start with the bad car analogy. You don’t see Ford suing Toyota because their latest model has four wheels, has an internal combustion engine and seats 5 passengers, do you?
So, what if the sites are similar in some ways, obviously they are different enough in others for people to know where they are. After all, there are only so many ways you can position text and entry forms on a page…

Mike says:

Good Ruling

This makes me think about Microsoft’s new search engine Bing….which is COMPLETELY ripped off from Google’s. And the Palm Pre, which rips off the iPhone in many ways. But that’s okay–you establish your product, and other people try to tweak and improve it and call it their own. I agree that the only issue should be if there’s confusion.

The take-home lesson seems to be: make sure your product is damn good before you take it to market, because once it’s out there, you’ll have a target on your back. But Facebook, Google, and iPhone needn’t worry. Their products are the best at what they do.

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