Lamebook is a site that features particularly lame or funny (and sometimes vulgar) Facebook posts. That company has brought suit against Facebook, seeking a declaratory judgment that Lamebook is not infringing Facebook’s trademark.
Several months ago, Facebook asked Lamebook to change the name of its service, alleging that the company’s name both infringes and dilutes Facebook’s famous mark. A letter from Facebook’s counsel lays out the elements of these allegations. (more…)
On August 28, a federal court jury awarded Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A. $32.4 million in a suit against two Internet Service Providers and their owner. The suit alleged trademark and copyright infringement.
Louis Vuitton Wins at Trial
The jury concluded that:
- The ISPs knew, or should have known, that their customers were selling, online, counterfeit goods that infringed LV trademarks and copyrights.
- The ISPs willful contributed to sales of the counterfeit goods.
- The ISPs were not entitled to the “safe harbor” protections of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (see How Websites Can Avoid Liability for User-provided Content).
“Fair use” is a legal term that does not necessarily mean what people often assumes it means (a free pass to use other people’s intellectual property). Indeed, the term has two different meanings, depending on whether copyrights or trademarks are at issue.
Copyright protects works of authorship. See Copyright Protection in One Easy Lesson. The copyright owner has the exclusive right (as applicable) to reproduce, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, and make derivative works of the copyrighted work.
Copyright infringement is the unauthorized exercise of one of the exclusive rights by someone other than the copyright owner. Thus, for example unauthorized copying of someone else’s music or movie constitutes copyright infringement.
Facebook recently began allowing users to name the URLs for their pages. For example, my Facebook page is at www.facebook.com/danashultz. The option to choose a URL appears as soon as the user logs in.
(Not surprisingly, Facebook’s servers appear to be overworked at this time. The first two times I tried to reserve my URL, I was hung up on a “Loading….” message. The third time worked.)
It is easy to anticipate, however, that trademark infringement and cybersquatting will run rampant. If you believe that another Facebook user has chosen a URL that infringes upon your trademark, you can report an infringement of your rights.
Check out all posts about cybersquatting.
Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law +1 510-547-0545 dana [at] danashultz [dot] com
This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer directly.