FACEBOOK Trying To Assert Trademark On Word ‘BOOK’. F**king Spare Us
It’s becoming a small world, with many a Monolith gobbling up all the objects, corporations, technologies, and most importantly, rights that it can. Facebook is one Lord among many, but it should be applauded for how douchey its latest move is. They are trying to assert their trademark on the word book. Yes. Book.
Facebook is trying to expand its trademark rights over the word “book” by adding the claim to a newly revised version of its “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities,” the agreement all users implicitly consent to by using or accessing Facebook.
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 â„¢ next to a name, that indicates an unregistered, claimed trademark, whereas an R in a circle signifies a registered one, McGeveran notes.
So, what exactly is Facebook changing? If you view the currentStatement of Rights and Responsibilities, you’ll find this sentence:
“You will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Wall and 32665), or any confusingly similar marks, without our written permission.”
If you’re wondering, 32665 is the number allowing Facebook users to update their pages through text message. The newly revised user agreement reads as follows (emphasis ours):
“You will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Book and Wall), or any confusingly similar marks, except as expressly permitted by our Brand Usage Guidelines or with our prior written permission.”
Not accepting the terms isn’t really an option for anyone with a Facebook account. “By using or accessing Facebook, you agree to this Statement,” the document says.
TL;DR, I know. Long case made short: these fuckers want you to kowtow to the notion that you won’t use “Book”, since its theirs. Oh! Okay, Facebook. You got it. Wink. Winky Winky. I’m going to write down this reminder not to do so in my note…book. Ha! See what I did there?