File this one under WTF?!
According to a CNNMoney article, Facebook is suing Teachbook for “a slew of crimes including federal trademark dilution, trademark infringement and unfair competition.” And this isn’t the first time that Facebook, presently the second most visited website in the world according to Alexa, has sued a startup for trademark infringement over the use of “book.” According to the article, travel site TripTrace used to be called “PlaceBook” until Facebook threatened them with a lawsuit.
This has been done before, with Apple recently losing a lawsuit in Australia that the DOPi (iPod spelled backward) laptop bag didn’t infringe on Apple’s iPod trademark. And if you ever needed evidence that Apple has made overreaching a habit, The Onion claimed in 2006 that Apple had planned to trademark the pronoun “I” – and it still sounds plausible. Facebook seems to have copied Apple’s playbook.
Maybe the woman’s magazine Redbook should sue Facebook for trademark infringement. After all, Redbook has been around since 1903, so Redbook clearly has been using the word “book” far longer than Faceboook has. Or maybe God, author of The Good Book should send a burning bush over to Facebook’s corporate offices and demand that they stop diluting God’s brand.
Or better yet, how about Facebook spend all the money they’re paying lawyers to threaten people using the word “book” in their websites and invest it in ensuring their users’ privacy.