Facebook has shut down the Facebook Page and the Like buttons on Lamebook.com. This is happening because there was a trademark dispute between Facebook.com and Lamebook.com. Lamebook filed a declaratory judgment complaint against Facebook and they responded by filing a trademark infringement case.
University of Minnesota law professor Bill McGeveran believes that Lamebook has a strong case. Below is an excerpt he wrote in regards to the case:
Without some lenience for parody, comment and so-called ?nominative use,? it would become impossible even to refer to an iconic brand without using its name, thus infringing on trademark rights. Fortunately, when faced with these disputes, most courts now realize their role as protectors of speech.
And even Facebook doesn?t even try to stop use of the company?s trademark in a newspaper story about the company, or go after sites that track it (or, for that matter, in the highly fictionalized and rather negative account of its founding in The Social Network.)
Lamebook is actively asking for donations from visitors as part of its “Legal Fund” to take on Facebook. Below is a note that Lamebook wrote on their website:
Well, Facebook didn?t like us sticking up for ourselves, so they shut down our Fan Page, are preventing any users from ?liking? us, and won?t even let you share URLs with your friends if they point to Lamebook. In light of this, be sure to follow us on Twitter so you get updated with the latest and funniest of the lame!
And below is Facebook’s official statement sent to TechCrunch:
Our terms prohibit posting of material or other activities on Facebook that infringe the rights of others. We reserve the right to pull down any content we believe is infringing. We also specifically prohibit use of any Facebook or confusingly similar marks (See SRR Sec. 5.1, 5.2 & 5.6 http://www.facebook.com/terms.php)