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Facebook Asserts Trademark On "Book" In New User Agreement 197

Posted by timothy
from the throw-the-face-at-them dept.
jbrodkin writes "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. The company has registered trademarks over its name and many variations of it, but not on the word 'book.' By inserting the trademark claim into the Facebook user agreement, the company hopes to bolster its standing in lawsuits against sites that incorporate the word 'book.'"
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Facebook Asserts Trademark On "Book" In New User Agreement

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  • First book (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 24, 2012 @07:30AM (#39460003)

    First book

  • Book this! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 24, 2012 @07:34AM (#39460017)

    Another fine attempt by corporate America to stretch the law using stupidity.

    • Re:Book this! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MrLint (519792) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @09:15AM (#39460395) Journal

      I think you may be onto something deeper than you may expect. I am becoming to believe that this behavior is really a side effect of our runaway copyright/trademark/patent system, but also the nature of statutes.

      No reasonable person would accept 'book' as a copyright/mark. The word as it stands alone is indicative of anything specific. But since the bounds on in this ears seem to be keep getting stretched and morphed, as well as less than stellar protections for individual/fair use, this is what to expect.

      However, the pitfall of statute is that if you leave the language too broad you catch things you didn't intend, if you iterate every possibility you can think of there are always loopholes. There is a reason why many statutes are 'vague', and why we have a judicial system, but its a mess either way.

      That being said, I really would like to see tome tightening up of both law and legal action on unethical/illegal clauses in user agreements. Perhaps with some penalties. If a clause is generally known prohibit legal action, and that action is a right that cannot be waived, then putting it in an agreement should carry a penalty for attempt to defraud.

      • by sauge (930823)
        Guess I will just have to start facebuch.com in like, some Caribbean island or something. Damn those patent/copyright laws (shaking fist with furious look on face - oh sh!t - can I use "face" or did they patent/copyright that too?)

        The way the US government is going broke at so many levels (NYC is considering tolls on bicycle riders) - I can certainly see some "fines" coming down the road for at least illegal clauses in contracts.
        • Re:Book this! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by mcgrew (92797) * on Saturday March 24, 2012 @09:48AM (#39460559) Homepage Journal

          Someone needs to register both fuckbook.com and fuckfacebook.com. I suggest we stop calling it "facebook" and simply refer to both it and Mark Zuckerberg as "fuckface."

          I'm glad I never signed up. Fuck facebook, and fuck Mark Fuckerberg.

        • by omglolbah (731566)

          It is a .com so it is still under american law regardless of where it is hosted.

          As seen by recent domain grabs by the american government.

          Hell, a brit is is being put on a fucking plane to the US to stand trial even though his only connection to the case in the US seems to be that the domain he used was a .com... sigh.

          • Re:Book this! (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Saturday March 24, 2012 @11:19AM (#39460965)

            Kinda makes me wonder what will happen when most of these unsavory websites wisen up and stop using .coms.

            I'm starting to see more domain hacks (made-up example, "funga.me") and outright foreign domains for stuff that might be considered illegal or unsavory content. It's a smart move, really, all things considered. There's not really anything all that special about .com anymore.

            I also wonder... well, let's say a site has a .com and they buy, Idunno, a .it domain. The .com now only contains a redirect to the .it. Does the US have any standing over the contents of the stuff hosted on the .it domain simply because the .com links to it?

            .com may very well end up being abandoned altogether by any websites doing stuff the States doesn't like.

        • How dare you infringe on my trademarks of facebucks and starbook!

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        If this ever came to court, most of Facebook's EUA would be thrown-out just as most of Paypal's EUA was thrown-out by the judge. (Who then ordered paypal to refund the money it had stolen from its customers.) You cannot sign-away your legally-protected rights.

        • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Saturday March 24, 2012 @11:14AM (#39460945) Journal

          "You cannot sign-away your legally-protected rights."

          Of course you can.

          1. Sign those rights away.
          2. Courts quit legally protecting them.

          That's the way our Court System is going. It's not a justice system anymore.

          • Ok, if you actually believe that, would you like to buy a bridge? Also, by reading this post, you agree you owe me your monthly paycheck, your wife, your firstborn and your life.
          • by Renraku (518261) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @02:44PM (#39462071) Homepage

            Under certain specific circumstances you can sign away legal rights. Like I'm free to talk about my employer all I want, but I am not free to divulge trade secrets and things like that. Here, I have signed away my freedom of speech in order to remain in good standing with the company and be a trusted employee. If I were not an employee, however, I'm completely free to divulge trade secrets if I haven't signed anything preventing me from doing so.

            Also, you may be forced to give up certain rights in certain areas. Most bars don't allow weapons on premises, unless you're an active duty police officer, even though you might have a carry permit.

            However, more and more EULAs are asking people to give up rights for no goddamn reason at all. Like the right to sue. I don't think this one would stand up in court if it came to blows. There's absolutely no reason someone would agree to give up their right to sue if they had any other choice. It's basically saying, "If we do something that causes you trouble, there's not a goddamn thing you can do about it except ask someone we're paying to ask us to reimburse you."

      • by MickLinux (579158)
        I think that you are describing a trait of written law governments as opposed to common law. As a matter of course, the theory of common law is that the government does not have the right to create law, but only the right to declare and order natural law. The US used to be, and nominally still is, a common law government. But in fact, ever since the beginning, we have been increasingly of a written law nature, so that now we are indistinguishable from a written law system.
    • I kind of understand it though, but Facebook is probably carrying it too far. As I understand, they aren't taking complete ownership of the word book, but stopping other social media sites that would use parts of their name in their own sites, which is unimaginitive anyway. Imagine if Pinterest was Pinbook, it would have been a cheap cop-out that tries to ride on another business' name, and dilute the value of Facebook's trademark.

      If Facebook is hunting down non-social media sites, then that would be bad,

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        So if I decide to allow people to create accounts and talk about my books on patriotsbooks.com (when the site goes live), I'm probably in violation of their rules. And even if they don't decide to go after me for doing so, the fact that they could do so makes it an unacceptably risky proposition to remain a member of Facebook.

        Hint: every author in the world is looking at these rules and deciding whether to leave Facebook forever at this moment.

      • > If Facebook is hunting down non-social media sites, then that would be bad, but I haven't seen that happen.

        This has happened before in the tech world, in hardware. Back in the late 1970's and early 1980's, before the IBM PC popularized the Intel 8088 cpu, Zilog GMBH dominated personal computing with the Zilog 8000 cpu, which was commonly known as the "Z80". Their lawyers went after almost anything computer-related that was named Z-something. Did Apple's lawyers go after every i-something?

    • I'm going to deliberately descend into foul language for this comment, because it's the only language that expresses my feelings on this adequately... what a bunch of mother-fucking arseholes, they can go bite my matte, non-metallic arse.
  • by VMaN (164134)

    They should have ALL their trademarks invalidated by shenanigans like this. BOO!

  • Sounds like... (Score:3, Informative)

    by neo8750 (566137) <zepski AT zepski DOT net> on Saturday March 24, 2012 @07:38AM (#39460035) Homepage
    When Microsoft tried to paten "windows"
    • Re:Sounds like... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Gideon Wells (1412675) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @08:30AM (#39460243)

      They had to settle for Microsoft Windows. Bethesda claims that Scrolls is effectively trademarked when Notch attempted to make a game called scrolls. Bethesda was afraid a digital card game might get confused for Elder Scrolls. Notch settled, however, and had to agree to not use Scroll for sequels and to respect the "Trademark". Look at the transformers. There are many named Autobot ____ and Decipticon _____ to get around being unable to trademark "Ratchet". While thinking about the Japanese, Godzilla vs Destroyah pronounced Destroyer. That is because they either couldn't or didn't want to bother trying to trademark Destroyer. Spelling change, same pronounciation. Boom, protected. Same with that 80s cartoon, Jem. They wanted to use just M, but wanted to protect the name.

      Nothing new to this field. Nothing limited to computers. It has been going on for decades. Looking precedent, I expect this to get overturned.

    • Re:Sounds like... (Score:5, Informative)

      by icebraining (1313345) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @08:45AM (#39460287) Homepage

      s/paten/trademark/

  • I would like to trademark the word trademark, please.
  • woah (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tom (822) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @07:48AM (#39460067) Homepage Journal

    Now this is brash. Read what they actually say:

    "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."

    Notice something? Yes, this goes far beyond what the trademark laws actually cover. According to trademark law, a trademark is specific. Meaning I could very well name something entirely unrelated that they don't produce and that has no potential of confusion "facebook". Say, a sausage.

    Their statement contains no limitations whatsoever. Legally speaking, if you're a builder and you have a FB account, you now need to get FB's permission for your work, because you agreed to not use the word "Wall" without their permission. Or, according to #6 of their Brand Usage Guidelines, if you have a business with the word "Book" in it, say "Freddie's Used Books", you have to rename.

    I understand their intentions, they want to have an easier time fighting copycats like, say, Mugbook or Assbook or Pornbook - but like lawyers do, they cast the net as wide as possible. But this is ridiculous.

    IANAL, but I do have business experience reading and interpreting legal texts.

    • Re:woah (Score:5, Funny)

      by houstonbofh (602064) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @08:07AM (#39460145)

      Now this is brash. Read what they actually say:

      "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."

      I guess Lady Gaga has to close her Facebook page, or re-record Poker Face.

      • Now this is brash. Read what they actually say:

        "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."

        I guess Lady Gaga has to close her Facebook page, or re-record Poker Face.

        Screw her (but don't "Poke" her, for legal reasons).

        I have more than one "Wall" lined with "Books" at home, have my own "Face" which I even show in public places, and "Poke" my wife regularly. Do I need a lawyer for these things now?

      • Yo La Tengo released Fakebook [www.last.fm] in 1990. Lots of prior art there.
    • Re:woah (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Dogtanian (588974) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @08:09AM (#39460147) Homepage

      Now this is brash. Read what they actually say:

      "You will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Book and Wall)

      IANAL either, but I note that they're not claiming that "by accepting this agreement you agree that Book (etc.) is our trademark and yadda yadda....", i.e. they're not actively requiring the user to accept or directly agree with the assertion that they own those trademarks.

      It may be argued that by implication the user is accepting this anyway, but I'm not convinced. If that isn't the case, then does including the assertion in the user agreement give it any more strength than claiming elsewhere that they own those trademarks?

      What the implication is of this would be though, I don't know.

      • Re:woah (Score:4, Insightful)

        by boarder8925 (714555) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `yblirtneergeht'> on Saturday March 24, 2012 @08:31AM (#39460247) Homepage

        [T]hey're not actively requiring the user to accept or directly agree with the assertion that they own those trademarks.

        Let's have another look at the quote in question:

        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.

        They use the phrase "our copyrights or trademarks," and immediately after that phrase, they have a list of terms. They are saying that they own the "copyrights or trademarks" for or to those terms. They say that "You will not use" said terms unless your use of said terms agrees with them, either by way of their guidelines or their written permission. When you sign an agreement, you are agreeing to what that agreement says. By signing Facebook's new agreement, you are agreeing that "book" and "wall" are two of their "copyrights or trademarks."

        Now for my disclaimer: I am also not a lawyer. But (to me) the way Facebook has worded the paragraph or section in question makes it clear that they're doing what the headline says they're doing.

        • Re:woah (Score:5, Informative)

          by Fieryphoenix (1161565) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @08:53AM (#39460313)
          That carries no legal weight. The fact of a copyright is something determined by law, not by "agreement". You are not bound to obey copyright on the force of having "agreed" something is under copyright, you are bound by whether a work actually fulfills the requirements set forth by whatever applicable copyright law is in effect.
          • by Zibodiz (2160038)
            Problem is, you do anything you agreed not to do -- whether they had any right to ask for it or not -- and you are under breach of contract. They won't sue you for copy/patent/IP infringement, they'll sue you for breach of contract.
        • by Dogtanian (588974)

          They use the phrase "our copyrights or trademarks," and immediately after that phrase, they have a list of terms. They are saying that they own the "copyrights or trademarks" for or to those terms. They say that "You will not use" said terms unless your use of said terms agrees with them, either by way of their guidelines or their written permission. When you sign an agreement, you are agreeing to what that agreement says. By signing Facebook's new agreement, you are agreeing that "book" and "wall" are two of their "copyrights or trademarks."

          I'm not convinced by this. They say that "you will not use our copyrights or trademarks", which is quite clear- for things that *are* clearly their copyrights and trademarks.

          Let's assume for a second that the list included the word "Atari". It's clear-cut that they don't own that trademark. Therefore, the clause when applied to "Atari" would clearly be predicated on false information and (I doubt) applicable. (*)

          It may be argued that "book" is or isn't their trademark, but if it clearly is, then the cla

      • by Tom (822)

        IANAL either, but I note that they're not claiming that "by accepting this agreement you agree that Book (etc.) is our trademark and yadda yadda....", i.e. they're not actively requiring the user to accept or directly agree with the assertion that they own those trademarks.

        No, they simply include as a fact that these are their trademarks.

        I wonder if they really hold all those trademarks world-wide - because that agreement is valid globally.

    • by geekmux (1040042)

      Now this is brash. Read what they actually say:

      "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."

      Notice something? Yes, this goes far beyond what the trademark laws actually cover. According to trademark law, a trademark is specific. Meaning I could very well name something entirely unrelated that they don't produce and that has no potential of confusion "facebook". Say, a sausage.

      Their statement contains no limitations whatsoever. Legally speaking, if you're a builder and you have a FB account, you now need to get FB's permission for your work, because you agreed to not use the word "Wall" without their permission. Or, according to #6 of their Brand Usage Guidelines, if you have a business with the word "Book" in it, say "Freddie's Used Books", you have to rename.

      I understand their intentions, they want to have an easier time fighting copycats like, say, Mugbook or Assbook or Pornbook - but like lawyers do, they cast the net as wide as possible. But this is ridiculous.

      IANAL, but I do have business experience reading and interpreting legal texts.

      Lawyers may try and cast that net far and wide, but there's something else to really look for. If they are allowed to proceed into the courtroom with this type of legal verbiage over ridiculously common terms in use all over society today. It'll be interesting to see the first "Wall" lawsuit from the people who brought you The Wall (Pink Floyd), or perhaps going back even farther, the Great Wall. China vs. Facebook. There's an interesting court battle. "Poke"? C'mon. I was using the "POKE" Applesoft

      • There's been a poke command on IRC bots forever too (and I think maybe even in MajorBBS chat even earlier).

        Anyhow, the threat here is they can ban you from Facebook. Sadly, for many Facebook users, this is a weighty incentive to comply.

        • by toriver (11308)

          10 POKE 53281,5
          RUN

          Changing colors on a C64 screen circa 1984 and challenging a trademark at the same time...

        • by geekmux (1040042)

          ...Anyhow, the threat here is they can ban you from Facebook. Sadly, for many Facebook users, this is a weighty incentive to comply.

          Ah, hell, is THAT the threat here? Where do I sign up to infringe on one of their patents? If I infringe on more than one of "their" holy sacred words, will they also promise to delete all of my data too when they ban me? (needless to say, for some of us, the threat here...isn't.)

      • by MickLinux (579158)
        Because as our government progresses in insanity, what was nonsense yesterday results in the gulags tomorrow. That's why the concern.
    • Not just copycats (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Arker (91948) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @08:44AM (#39460281) Homepage

      Teachbook and placebook were not copycats, and that's just two I can think of off the top of my head.

      Having been invited to FB and passed, all the way back when enrollment was only open with an ivy league .edu or an invite, and resisted all pressure to sign up and join the herd since, I cant help but gloat a little every time I am proven correct, yet again. /me gloats.

      I believe it's a useful service, and I will be happy to give it a try when it's provided in a manner consist with my basic values, but as long as it amounts to voluntarily handing over all information to a company like facebook it cannot be worth the price.

    • The user agreement doesn't trump local law. Facebook can go do a Faceplant in a pile of FaceCrap.

      Why don't facebook users walk away? Because they are too insecure to: [theglobeandmail.com]

      Facebook a big hit with narcissists: study

      A new study of Canadian university students suggests Facebook is a magnet for narcissists and people with low self-esteem.

      Participants who were deemed narcissistic, and others shown to have low self-esteem, spent more time on the massively popular social-networking website, the York University

      • by Omestes (471991)

        Just get the email addresses of the people you really want to stay in contact with, then disable your account.

        But, sadly, email is dying among certain populations. I have friends where the only ways to actually communicate with them is via Facebook or text. Actually the vast majority of my non-nerd friends have pretty much stopped using email for any sustained communications.

        Also... If, in a perfect world, I managed to get all my friends to use email, how are we going to replicate the useful functionality of Facebook (what little of it there is)? Do I get them all to set up some enterprise solution for calenda

    • by jez9999 (618189)

      I understand their intentions, they want to have an easier time fighting copycats like, say, Mugbook or Assbook or Pornbook

      But isn't the point that they shouldn't be able to fight them on the basis of trademark? Owing to their DIFFERENT NAMES, I know they're not fucking Facebook.

    • by msobkow (48369)

      As general law and contracts don't get to dictate to the controlling segments of the government which terms are acceptable as trademarks or patents, I don't really understand what they're trying to accomplish.

      To me it sounds like writing into a building sales contract that the facility is to be sold on the understanding that it's sale is with the intent of operation as a bar. While that in itself might seem a reasonable conditional clause on a property sale, what Zuckerberg and his minions are trying to

      • by msobkow (48369)

        Or maybe there's some sort of "author's guild" that can sue them for attempting to subvert THEIR "trademark". :P

    • Does this meant that if I never had a Facebook account that I retain the right to use *book as a trademark?

    • by xigxag (167441)

      My feeling is that it is similar to the FBI Anti-Piracy Warning being at the front of every video. Piracy is still illegal whether or not there's an FBI Anti-Piracy Warning at the front of the video, so it doesn't have to be there. But by placing it in an unskippable chapter, the IP rights holder precludes the possibility of someone asserting the defense of "I didn't know" to a sympathetic jury. Similarly, by reiterating their already existing rights in their EUA, Facebook is preventing people from sayin

    • they want to have an easier time fighting copycats like, say, Mugbook or Assbook or Pornbook

      Then maybe they should have picked a more unique name. Branding is, after all, a part of marketing. The lawyers should have considered this when determining their brand.

    • by Rary (566291)

      Legally speaking, if you're a builder and you have a FB account, you now need to get FB's permission for your work, because you agreed to not use the word "Wall" without their permission.

      It's not quite that extreme. When discussing trademarks, the word "use" has a particular meaning. Just because something is trademarked doesn't mean you can't say it or write it or discuss it. It means you can't use it as a mark of trade. So, assuming this EULA has any legal weight (a big assumption), the limitation on "using" the word "wall" would only apply if you're using it as a mark of trade while on Facebook. They cannot extend the weight of their EULA to actions that occur outside of Facebook, and th

  • Well, that is just plumb Crzybook.

    Apparently Facebook is not aware of the prior art of several centuries...

    Book

    Book

    Book

    Book

    Book

    Book

    Book

    Book

    Book

    Book

    • Re:Crazybook (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sosume (680416) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @08:16AM (#39460191) Journal

      More books:
      Audiobook, Bankbook, Bluebook, Casebook, Cashbook, Chapbook, Checkbook, Codebook, Cookbook, Datebook, ,Daybook, Fakebook, Guidebook,
      Handbook, Hornbook, Hymnbook, iBook, Lawbook, Logbook, Matchbook, Netbook, Notebook, Overbook, Passbook, Playbook, Pocketbook,
      Powerbook, Prebook, Promptbook, Psalmbook, Rebook, Schoolbook, Scrapbook, Sketchbook, Songbook, Sourcebook, Storybook, Studybook,
      Stylebook, Textbook, Wordbook, Workbook, Yearbook
      What were they thinking? As this kind of legal assertion is not allowed in many countries where actual people are in charge, It seems it may invalidate other
      parts of the agreement as well.

      • I think you forgot Phonebook & Guestbook.
      • Re:Crazybook (Score:5, Interesting)

        by pz (113803) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @09:11AM (#39460385) Journal

        And, you forgot Facebook.

        Huh?

        The word "facebook" was in use for decades before Zuckerman came along and ... copied it from then-common usage among colleges for a book that contains the photos of the freshman class. I have a handful of copies of my undergraduate school's facebooks still, which state "facebook" on the cover from when Zuckerberg was a come-hither look in his mother's eyes. I never understood how the company got their initial trademark given the widespread existing usage when it was issued.

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          If you interviewed Facebook's founder, and he was being honest, he'd probably admit he took the name from his college's freshman facebook.

    • by Rary (566291)

      Prior art is for patents, not trademarks.

      A trademark doesn't stop you from writing the word in a post on a forum. It stops you from using the word as part of the name of your competing product, service, or company. In other words, Facebook trademarking "book" simply means that you can't build a competing social networking site called "Friendbook" or something similar.

  • Wait 'til Amazon hear about this...
  • Do you need any more ammunition for patent and trademark reform??
    • *facepalm*

      *REDACTEDpalm*

    • Do you need any more ammunition for patent and trademark reform??

      Actually, yes. Companies are allowed to say whatever they want in a license agreement, whether or not it has any actual legal force. What kind of reform are you looking for? A "license agreement police" that reads every license agreement in the world and levies fines for overly broad license agreements? Do you really think the benefits would justify the cost of all of that extra bureaucracy?

      After all, the only thing that actually matters is wh

  • by mvar (1386987) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @08:02AM (#39460123)
    By inserting the trademark claim into the Facebook user agreement, the company hopes to bolster its standing in lawsuits against sites that incorporate the word 'book.'


    What next? Are they going to force these sites owners to make a Facebook account and sign the new user agreement?
  • by MacTO (1161105) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @08:26AM (#39460221)

    Just to be safe: I've cancelled my library card and accounts on any website where there is a high probability of discussing, erm, literary devices. I have also destroyed all of the ereading devices and software in my home, and will be burning paper literary devices in the wood stove when things cool down tonight.

    I also notice that they have the number 32665 trademarked. I have stopped doing any form of mathematics to avoid being sued. Does the trademark cover binary representations as well? If so, does anyone know of any computers that cannot use this number. (Cripes, even 8 bit computers have 16 bit addresses.)

    In a panic!

    • by jgrahn (181062)

      I also notice that they have the number 32665 trademarked. I have stopped doing any form of mathematics to avoid being sued. Does the trademark cover binary representations as well? If so, does anyone know of any computers that cannot use this number. (Cripes, even 8 bit computers have 16 bit addresses.)

      In a panic!

      No worries. It takes 17 bits to represent 32665.

  • As far as I know, almost every single section of any legal text by Facebook violates one or more laws in the EU and other European countries and are thus completely irrelevant (ignorig the fact that at least in my country, sections like this would most certainly also be considered as unexpected and therefore abusive, making them legally irrelevant).

    Hence, why care?
    Unless you're American, that is.

  • by cvtan (752695) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @08:39AM (#39460267)
    I would like to trademark iBook. No wait...
  • Wow, somethingBook, even Apple has valid prior art on that

  • They just cancel your account?
  • Somebody needs to take Zuckerberg behind the barn and beat some sense into him. Or beat the crap out of him, whichever comes first.

    Oh, and keep it private. You know how the little shit loves *his* privacy.
  • The women's magazine "Redbook" was published long before Zuckerberg was born. It is now available online. Many businesses and government agencies -- including my local schools -- public handbooks. The trademark on "book" as incorporated into a word with some other leading phrase is invalid because of prior use by others.

  • It's quaint, I know. But if it means I can now start a website called fecesbook, I'm all for it.

  • The makers of Miracle Whip once sued some guy who produced a product he called Yogurt Whip, asserting a claim to all uses of 'whip' in food products. After a court battle, they lost, with the court agreeing that you can't trademark a generic food term like 'whip'. The downside: it cost the guy $250k (this was a long time ago and that was even more significant a sum at the time) and years to "win".

  • By inserting the trademark claim into the Facebook user agreement, the company hopes to bolster its standing in lawsuits against sites that incorporate the word 'book.

    Really? IANAL, but I don't see how this makes any sense. If Facebook users agree to such contract terms, I don't see how this has any bearing on those of us who haven't accepted them. In fact, if this is a right (to use the suffix 'book') which someone has to negotiate away, then isn't it a right I still possess by NOT signing up?

  • by Shoten (260439)

    There goes my business plan to launch a bold new competitor to Facebook that, in my opinion, better captures the spirit of social media today. I was going to call it "Assbook".

  • Dear FaceBook

    You do not own the word "face" or the word "book". People have been using these concepts for quite some time. Leonardo Da Vinci did some nice faces a while back. He did not claim to have invented them although he seems to have invented some other ideas better than many patents now require.

    There are quite a few mentions of the word face in that well known book, the Bible. Do you intend to take God to court? Have fun there.

    Any repeated attempts to steal words out of my vocabulary will result

  • I look forward to the Zuckmeister going after pretty much anyone using the term "sportsbook", especially in the general vicinity of Las Vegas.

    don't bring a lawyer to a "baseball bat to the kneecaps" fight

  • by AJWM (19027) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @12:30PM (#39467247) Homepage

    I just posted this on my Facebook page:

    By displaying this post, or storing it on its servers, Facebook hereby agrees to abandon any and all trademark claims to the word "book", notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the user agreement.

    It's still up 21 minutes later (as I write this).

    I suppose worst case is that they yank my FB account.

It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground. -- Daniel B. Luten

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