Thursday, June 11, 2015

Facebook objects to another company that appends a networking facility with "".

Ruth Simon has an important story in the Wall Street Journal Thursday June 11, 2015, Money and Tech, p. B5, “Established firms fight startups on names; Well-known companies like Facebook claim that similar monikers could weaken their brands”, link here. The biggest example was an objection that Facebook filed with USPTO on “Designerbook,” with a product intended for engineering students.
The objection sounds frivolous and is disturbing.  Designerbook apparently included a limited-scope “social networking” app that, when combined with the word “book”, would mimic the concept of the naming of “Facebook” (which at one time might have been called something else, like Facemash). I've never heard of a trademark dispute over "parallel construction" of a wordmark name before. Maybe there is a legitimate parallel with the "...for Dummies" book series.  


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