You Decide: Is Facebook a Trademark Bully?

On February 27, 2014, in Trademarks, by Brian A. Hall

I often review decisions that detail an overzealous Plaintiff that claims certain intellectual property rights only to be rebuked by a court of law, thus ending up with UnIP and possibly even labeled as a bully.  A relatively highly publicized case involving Facebook raises the question as to whether Facebook is (1) being overzealous with enforcement of its trademark (i.e. a trademark bully) or (2) acting as a trademark owner should in order to avoid a likelihood of consumer confusion, dilution, or other harm to its mark.  Let me be clear, to date, there has been no decision that invalidates the FACEBOOK trademark and such a result is not possible in the context of the present dispute.  However, whether Facebook is a trademark bully or an active and legitimate trademark enforcer is the question to be answered in a dispute involving a pet-themed social network called Facepets, who has applied for a federal trademark.  You can learn more about the case from WIPR.

Let the debate begin…


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