Facebook appears to have laid a legal claim to the word’ book’, having initiated a copyright lawsuit against a start-up firm called Teachbook.
According to Chicago Breaking Business, Teachbook currently employs two people and has fewer than 20 members signed up for its free web community, which allows teachers to share tools, lesson plans and resources.
However, Facebook claims that the use of the ‘book’ suffix could dilute the effectiveness of their own brand.
“If others could freely use ‘generic plus BOOK’ marks for online networking services targeted to that particular generic category of individuals, the suffix BOOK could become a generic term for ‘online community/networking services’ or ’social networking services,” read Facebook’s complaint.
“That would dilute the distinctiveness of the Facebook Marks.”
Teachbook’s managing director Greg Shrader is ambivalent about the charge: “We’ve been sitting here scratching our heads for the last couple of days. We’re trying to understand how Facebook, a multibillion-dollar company, feels this small enterprise in Chicago is any type of threat.”
Tellingly, there has been no action against Casebook.com, a social networking site for legal professionals.