Quantcast

Twitter Reacts to Facebook’s Trademark of “Book”

Trademark of the word asserted through site governance revision

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:
Twitter Reacts to Facebook’s Trademark of “Book”
[ Social Media]

In its revised “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities,” Facebook claims the word “book” as a trademark. This may seem both pedantic and silly, but Facebook has always been protective of its namesake.

Jon Brodkin of Ars Technica clears things up in his article on the issue:

You may recall that Facebook has launched multiple lawsuits against websites incorporating the word “book” into their names. Facebook, as far as we can tell, doesn’t have a registered trademark on “book.” But trademark rights can be asserted based on use of a term, even if the trademark isn’t registered, and adding the claim to Facebook’s user agreement could boost the company’s standing in future lawsuits filed against sites that use the word.

“Unregistered marks are quite common in the US,” University of Minnesota Law Professor William McGeveran told Ars. “Rights arise from use, not registration (though registration does give you some other advantages). That’s how Facebook can try to claim ‘book.’” If you see a ™ next to a name, that indicates an unregistered, claimed trademark, whereas an R in a circle signifies a registered one, McGeveran notes.

Brodkin deserves praise for his well-researched and thoughtful take on the issue, but this nuanced view of what’s going on is obviously lost in the din of Twitter. The expected ridicule is flying:

If you use facebook you automatically signed the way the right to use the word Book without their permission http://t.co/jXMD5eMr 1 hour ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Way to blow today’s cred with me @facebook… › Facebook asserts trademark on word “book” in new user agreement » http://t.co/AsZvcgAQ 24 minutes ago via Tweet Button ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

great post on Facebook’s new trademark ‘book’ – ripping off 500 years of media history http://t.co/lPof65r0 via @evgenymorozov 41 minutes ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Should be called Trollbook | Facebook asserts trademark on word “book” in new user agreement http://t.co/xM1LWDP0 via @arstechnica #tvot 49 minutes ago via Tweet Button ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

So, if FB is asserting trademark over ‘book’ what does that mean for RIM’s Playbook? http://t.co/uUdffpWx 1 hour ago via Twitter for Mac ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

(Via ars technica)

Twitter Reacts to Facebook’s Trademark of “Book”
Top Rated White Papers and Resources
  • Trev

    It just beggars believe that US law can even remotely sanction claim by a greed-driven corporation to trademark a common word : I think i’ll claim a TM on the word “man” before someone else does, then I can charge anyone who wants to call themselves a man

    • http://cool-stuff-on-the-web.blinkweb.com Pete

      “The Man” already owns trademark on the word man. I think The Man now also has shares in Facebook

  • Mike Pepper

    It may seem unbelievable that someone can claim rights over a common, everyday generic word like ‘book’ but it’s decades too late to argue because a young Mr. Gates did it back in the eighties with ‘windows’.

  • Chris

    If you read into trademark law, the use of the mark has to conflict with another of the same class, if a confusion exists, for example book used in social networking might cause confusion with Facebook but book used in ebook would not. Book used in a gadget wouldn’t either unless it was a social networking gadget

  • http://whiteeagleaerie.com/ Nathan P

    IMHO Facebook is getting too paranoid over the use of the word “book”. JM.02!

  • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

    It will be lost in the din of wherever it is mentioned because too many know neither the letter nor the intent of the law and so pretty much have no idea what they are talking about.

    It can make for some entertaining reading though.

  • http://www.johnbeagle.com John Beagle

    Great, just when I was about to start my new website JohnBook, Facebook pulls a fast one.

    What’s next? Face?

  • http://www.guerillastocktrading.com LanceJ

    I’m going to trademark the vowels: a, e, i, o, u… now I own all of you and your trademarks are just subsets of my main trademark.

  • http://www.ifactfinders.com Tanya

    How is it possible to trademark the word “book”? I believe Chris is correct in that it is in the context it is used that the trademark exists – not in the word “book” as it refers to an object such as a text book or ebook.

  • http://www.ifactfinders.com Tanya

    How is it possible to trademark the word “book”? I believe Chris is correct in that it is in the context it is used that the trademark exists – not in the word “book” as it refers to an object such as a text book or ebook.

  • http://cool-stuff-on-the-web.blinkweb.com Pete

    Looks liek they want to own ‘F8′ therefore you have to pay them royalties every time you hit F8 on your keyboard. they also want the number 32665 (the number Facebook users can update thier page using a text).
    it is a shocking way to do things by using your user agreement (99% will not have read) to say you can’t use the word ‘book’ most people are now on Facebook now, I wonder what ways they can control our lives by hiding it in thier terms. I dislike Facebook more and more

  • http://www.studioartistx.nl Alexander

    To corps arguing ans suing about common words as “Apple” or even “Book” should be forbidden to use any words at all. Greedy and brainless idiots!