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BuyFacebookStock.com - Notice of Facebook Trademark Infringement

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by medsites, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. #1
    Dear All,

    Give me your opinion on the below email I got it from Facebook legal Dept. as I own the domain name buyfacebookstock.com

    Thanks.

    -----Original Message-----
    From: [mailto:enforcement@fb.com]
    Sent: Monday, March 19, 2012 7:24 PM
    To:
    Subject: buyfacebookstock.com - Notice of Facebook Trademark Infringement

    To Whom It May Concern,

    We are writing concerning your registration and use of the domain name buyfacebookstock.com, which contains the famous Facebook trademark.

    As you undoubtedly know, Facebook is the leading online social network service. Facebook adopted the name and trademark Facebook in February 2004 and, since that time, Facebook has actively used the Facebook name and trademark in connection with its online social network service, including maintaining the web site www.Facebook.com. The term Facebook is one of the most famous trademarks on the Internet. Facebook owns exclusive trademark rights to the Facebook name as a result of numerous trademark registrations in the United States and internationally, as well as related common law rights. Accordingly, Facebook enjoys broad trademark rights in its name.

    Facebook has made a substantial investment in developing and providing its services. As a result of Facebook’s pioneering efforts and devoting substantial effort and resources to providing only high quality services, the Facebook name and trademarks are widely known among the consuming public worldwide, and the name and trademarks embody substantial and valuable goodwill.

    Accordingly, we were concerned when we learned of your registration and use of buyfacebookstock.com. As we hope you can appreciate, protection of its trademarks is very important to Facebook. Your registration and use of buyfacebookstock.com violates the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. 1051 et seq.) because it infringes and dilutes the famous Facebook trademark.

    Infringement occurs when a third party’s use of a company’s trademark (or a confusingly similar variation thereof) is likely to confuse consumers as to the affiliation, sponsorship or endorsement of the third party’s services. Trademark dilution occurs when a third party’s use of a variation of a company’s trademark is likely to lessen the distinctiveness of the company’s famous trademark.

    We have filed several proceedings before the United Nation's World Intellectual Property Organization's arbitration panel. Facebook has prevailed in each case and the domain names at issue were all ordered to be transferred to Facebook. Facebook is concerned that your unauthorized use of the Facebook name may cause confusion as to whether you or your company’s activities are authorized, endorsed or sponsored by Facebook when, in fact, they are not.

    We understand that you may have registered buyfacebookstock.com without full knowledge of the law in this area. However, Facebook is concerned about your use of the Facebook trademark in your domain name. As you may know, the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act provides for serious penalties (up to $100,000 per domain name) against persons who, without authorization, use, sell, or offer for sale a domain name that infringes another’s trademark.

    While Facebook respects your right of expression and your desire to conduct business on the Internet, Facebook must enforce its own rights in order to protect its valuable and famous trademark. For these reasons, and to avoid consumer confusion, Facebook must insist that you immediately stop using buyfacebookstock.com and disable any site available at that address. You should not sell, offer to sell, or transfer the domain name to a third party and should let the domain registration expire.
    SEMrush
    Please confirm in writing that you will agree to resolve this matter as requested. If we do not receive confirmation from you that you will comply with our request, we will have no choice but to pursue all available remedies against you.

    Sincerely,

    Ethel

    Legal Dept.
    Facebook, Inc.
     
    medsites, Mar 20, 2012 IP
    SEMrush
  2. browntwn

    browntwn Illustrious Member

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    #2
    Not surprising.
     
    browntwn, Mar 20, 2012 IP
  3. ЄxDeus™

    ЄxDeus™ Well-Known Member

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    #3
    do what the email says....
     
    ЄxDeus™, Mar 20, 2012 IP
  4. Dave Zan

    Dave Zan Well-Known Member

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    #4
    That's tame and polite compared to others. Up to you what you want to do after.

    If you insist on resisting, though, be ready to deal with the consequences of your choice.
     
    Dave Zan, Mar 20, 2012 IP
  5. psychost

    psychost Active Member

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    #5
    They're nice about it... but facts are facts... they're taking that domain..
    The question is.. are you going to give to them (for the love of god don't try to charge them!) or..
    will you make them do it the hard way and fine you... and take your domain?
     
    psychost, Mar 20, 2012 IP
  6. ajwalsh

    ajwalsh Peon

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    #6
    Ethel doesn't mess around... As others have said, you should give up the domain and focus your efforts elsewhere. There's really no way it will end well if you try to fight them.
     
    ajwalsh, Apr 1, 2012 IP
  7. Shazz

    Shazz Prominent Member

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    #7
    Fight them! to the death!
     
    Shazz, Apr 1, 2012 IP
  8. Dave Zan

    Dave Zan Well-Known Member

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    #8
    And fight a losing battle? Nah, not worth it other than stoking one's ego.
     
    Dave Zan, Apr 2, 2012 IP
  9. attorney jaffe

    attorney jaffe Member

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    #9
    Actually, my legal belief is that the domain name BuyFacebookStock.com does not violate the Facebook trademark. I base this on the case in the 9th District Court of Appeals entitled Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. v. Tabari in which the court ruled that a domain name can use a trademark in it as a "nomitive fair use" of the mark. As long as your site is not trying to trade on the Facebook name, but rather, wants to talk about Facebook stock, you are in the clear.

    However, that does not mean that Facebook will not seek further action against you, and may even file suit. That would cost you a whole lot of money, even if you are found in the right. Unless the site is bringing in big bucks, I wouldn't take the financial risk of keeping the domain name.
     
    attorney jaffe, Apr 3, 2012 IP
    browntwn likes this.
  10. browntwn

    browntwn Illustrious Member

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    #10
    That is not how I read that case. In that case they were directing people to legitimate sources where cars could be purchased and had the name Lexus in their domain name. This domain "BuyFacebookStock.com" can't possibly do that since at the moment there is no legitimate source where one can buy facebook stock. It is not yet for sale. The Court in Tabari applied the three-part New Kids test which focuses on necessity of the business to use that name. What is the necessity shown here?

    It seems with the introduction of facebook stock coming in the near future it is likely Facebook is concerned this domain is a platform for fraud - since it appears to have no other legitimate purpose.

    If they were smart, they would be making the site around finding legitimate sources to buy facebook stock when it comes out in May. Probably by directing people to legitimate stock trading companies so consumers can then purchase facebook stock. As it stands now, I do not think they have made a case for nominative fair use. I do like the Tabari case though. I wish it had been around earlier.
     
    browntwn, Apr 3, 2012 IP
  11. Dave Zan

    Dave Zan Well-Known Member

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    #11
    Actually there is a very similar dispute to that: the BargainBeanies.com one, Ty v. Perryman.
     
    Dave Zan, Apr 3, 2012 IP
  12. Shazz

    Shazz Prominent Member

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    #12
    It was a joke... Topics like these make me laugh, why try and fight it.

    Bigger companies > you
     
    Shazz, Apr 4, 2012 IP
  13. HomeDecors

    HomeDecors Peon

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    #13
    follow what the email says.
     
    HomeDecors, Apr 10, 2012 IP
  14. ryan1918

    ryan1918 Active Member

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    #14
    It depends what you plan on doing with the domain, it doesn't matter if facebook is in it, if you plan on using it as a facebook product or anything related to the company it will be trademark infringement you should see if they want to offer you a price for the domain, or just don't make it into a facebook related anything and they can't do jack in court but waste the courts time.
     
    ryan1918, Apr 10, 2012 IP
  15. Dave Zan

    Dave Zan Well-Known Member

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    #15
    Even if, say, you put something else other than social networks as the domain's web site, what
    do you honestly think is the first thing you or your friends will think of upon seeing "facebook" in
    in the domain name? Besides, there are legal and administrative decisions where domain owners
    lost even if they put unrelated content in their domains that have famous (hint) marks in them.
     
    Dave Zan, Apr 10, 2012 IP
  16. Law-Dude

    Law-Dude Active Member

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    #16
    I saw nothing in Tabari that prevents someone from registering a domain name in anticipation of an event, such as an IPO of Facebook stock. I can't see any reason why a court would rule that someone can use a domain name to suggest that a reader do X now, but if the same domain name is used to suggest that the reader do X in six months, it is trademark infringement.

    Also, I would point out that just because Facebook has not gone public, it does not mean that shares in Facebook cannot currently be purchased. They're just privately traded: http://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...shareholders/2012/02/01/gIQA9vL1iQ_story.html

    So, even if there is a requirement that the activity suggested by the domain name not be something that someone is going to do in the future (again, I see no such requirement for that in Tadari), the domain still wouldn't be an infringement.

    Of course, the registrant still can't do anything that would imply sponsorship or endorsement of his site by Facebook. When I went to the site, there was an ad with Mark Zuckerberg's face on it. That's a pretty stupid move.
     
    Law-Dude, Apr 11, 2012 IP
  17. browntwn

    browntwn Illustrious Member

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    #17
    That and they are currently not meeting any of the Tabari requirements. They should probably keep the domain site-less until such time that they find a legitimate use for it. But, lets also be honest here that in all likelihood this domain owner had no legitimate purpose, nor does seem to intend one, for having the domain and is unlikely to prevail should facebook act to take the domain now. Fighting for a domain name when it is making you no money and you have nothing really invested in it is not usually a smart move. Maybe he thinks it can be worth a ton of money. Tabari was specifically in the business of driving buyers to legitimate sources to buy a Lexus and had been doing so for some time. I see nothing of the sort happening on this facebook domain. Doing so only after being served with some action would probably not be sufficient to meet the requirements in Tabari.
     
    browntwn, Apr 11, 2012 IP
  18. JensenYvonne

    JensenYvonne Member

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    #18
    sell them the domain for 10k $ , they can easily pay that too
     
    JensenYvonne, Apr 11, 2012 IP
  19. Dave Zan

    Dave Zan Well-Known Member

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    #19
    Nope, not gonna happen.
     
    Dave Zan, Apr 12, 2012 IP
  20. meatloafmedia

    meatloafmedia Peon

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    #20
    You could probably fight it if you have a ton of money to do so. Otherwise just give them the domain and forget about it.
     
    meatloafmedia, Apr 12, 2012 IP