Facebook Sues 'Shagbook' Over Name

Dating site fights back, challenges trademark granted to Zuckerberg
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2011 5:11 PM CDT
Social Networking: Facebook Battles 'Shagbook' Over Trademark Infringement
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg smiles during an announcement at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., Wednesday, July 6, 2011.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

A few months ago, Facebook sued adult dating site Shagbook over trademark infringement; now, the makers of Shagbook are hitting back, arguing that “facebook” is a “generic term.” Facebook says Shagbook is too close to its own name and suggests “the intent to call to mind and create a likelihood of confusion … and/or trade off the fame of Facebook,” Mashable reports. But Shagbook makers SNRG Ventures say the site’s founder took its name from a notebook he used to carry.

SNRG’s response to the suit raises an intriguing question, writes Mike Masnick at Techdirt: Could Facebook’s protection of its trademark end up backfiring? SNRG argues that Mark Zuckerberg’s site should never have been granted a trademark on the name in the first place. "It certainly would be interesting if Facebook ends up losing its own trademark due to its own overly aggressive trademark actions against others,” Masnick writes. (Read more Facebook stories.)

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