Mark Zuckerberg’s privacy-melting, information harvesting network of evil, Facebook, has decided that it owns all the books in the world. It has decided to file an infringement lawsuit against a pre-launch website called Teachbook.com because it has “book” in its name. And it’s a community for teachers.
Facebook argues that if other websites could use a name with book at the end for online networking services, the suffix book could run the risk of being used as a general term for social media, taking away from the value of Facebook’s established brand. We kind of see Facebook’s point, here – but there’s no question it is being heavy handed.
Greg Shrader, managing director of TeachBook, has been quoted as saying: “We’re trying to understand how Facebook, a multibillion dollar company, feels this small enterprise in Chicago is any type of threat. Effectively they’re bombing a mosquito here.”
Comparing yourself to an annoying tiny insect with a bloodlust is perhaps not the best strategy to take.
Shrader also said that his company had been “working constructively” with Facebook but now feels forced to file an official response to the lawsuit in court.
It’s August, it’s silly season – we will be launching BSkypeBook ASAP and waiting for the stories to roll in.
TeachBook managing director Greg Shrader told TechEye: “We were unaware that Facebook owned the Internet or the term “book.” We believe that they are wrong on the merits of their case, especially because the United States Patent and Trademark Office approve our trademark application for Teachbook and informed us that “book” is a generic term which cannot be trademarked. We believe this is why they elected to file a suit in federal court and take their opposition out of the trademark office. They simply can’t win on the merits of their trademark objection.
“Teachbook is a suite of productivity tools for teachers. It allows teachers to design and share lesson plans, instructional videos, online courses. It also allows teachers to keep online gradebooks, communicate with parents, and share ideas with one another. In short it is designed to allow teachers to improve teaching and learning in the classroom. We don’t know why Facebook or Mark Zuckerberg want to get in the way of that.
“And we don’t believe that potential Facebook users who are looking to share pictures and socialize with their old high school buddies could be confused by a site designed for teachers.”