Facebook Sues Teachbook Over “-book” Naming Rights

A new online community for teachers called Teachbook is popular for all the wrong reasons. That’s because social media giant Facebook has sued the fledgling site for copyright infringement. According to PC Magazine, Facebook claims that the fact that Teachbook’s use of the term “-book” at the end of its name “pilfers a distinctive part of the Facebook.”

“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,’” according to Facebook. “That would dilute the distinctiveness of the Facebook marks, impairing their ability to function as unique and distinctive identifiers of Facebook’s goods and services.”

Teachbook is scheduled to launch this fall and is a social media site intended to allow teachers to connect to each other and discuss various learning strategies. Facebook claims that Teachbook is a competitor because its services “are the same as and/or related to some of the services provided by Facebook, [and] while Facebook does not object to [Teachbook’s] provision of online social networking services, it does object to [Teachbook’s] use of the infringing and dilutive Teachbook mark while doing so.”

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