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Facebook.com threatening to sue me?

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by bigbody300, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. #1
    Hi guys, i have this site "customizedfacebook.com"

    which talks about how to customize facebook - well they are trying to take legal action against me? How can i get around this, can i?

    Here is a portion of the email:

    Accordingly, we were concerned when we learned of your registration and use of customizedfacebook.com. As we hope you can appreciate, protection of its trademarks is very important to Facebook. Your registration and use of customizedfacebook.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 customizedfacebook.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 customizedfacebook.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.

    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.
     
    bigbody300, Sep 4, 2009 IP
  2. uksmf

    uksmf Peon

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    #2
    Ouch

    I have no idea but I think I would be talking to someone legal quite quickly

    I hope this helps

    Regards

    Dave
     
    uksmf, Sep 4, 2009 IP
  3. LeonVanRensburg

    LeonVanRensburg Peon

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    #3
    That is weird. Will they have the same problem if you register the domain name: learn-to-customize-facebook.com or even learn-how-to-use-facebook.com? And what if you add a subdomain to an existing domain name for example: facebook.tricks-and-customizations.com? Will they also have a problem with that?
     
    LeonVanRensburg, Sep 4, 2009 IP
  4. SCLocal

    SCLocal Well-Known Member

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    #4
    Make sure the email is actually coming from Facebook and not someone just 'screwing' with you. Perhaps you should just rebrand under a different domain name. Doing a google search for 'customize facebook' yields a plethora of sites that aren't associated with Facebook yet give instructions for customizing it. I think the main thing they would have a problem with is your use of Facebook in the domain name.

    Another question, is your site hosted in the US or offshore?
     
    SCLocal, Sep 4, 2009 IP
  5. gafadi

    gafadi Peon

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    #5
    well they have you in the legal case quite right, because you used the word "facebook" , its a trademark of facebook and your site isnt quite just a fan site only it have several ads which might be generating revenue , even if it doesnt they dont care , because you used their trademark word to use for your advantage and its a trademark case .Best way is to drop the domain and close site but first make sure the email you got from is facebook

    disclaimer : i am no lawyer but i its a open ended case of trademark , you should consult a lawyer or legal advice
     
    gafadi, Sep 4, 2009 IP
  6. mjewel

    mjewel Prominent Member

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    #6
    You are using their trademark in your domain name for a website that deals with their product or service. It's trademark infringement.

    "How can i get around this, can i?"

    Once you have confirmed the email is legitimate, take down the site. There is no way you can keep using it without putting yourself at risk. They can sue you for damages or file a UDRP to have the domain turned over to them.
     
    mjewel, Sep 4, 2009 IP
    magicworld11 likes this.
  7. noobpreneur

    noobpreneur Well-Known Member

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    #7
    IMO, using the trademarked name in your and my domain name will always be illegal.

    I agree with mjewel, if the email is legitimate, then there's nothing else you can do except taking down the site or relaunching the site under a different domain name (I don't know how about Yahoo, but you can do this in Google to preserve your indexed page with Google - Please visit www.google.com/webmasters/tools and choose 'setting' to change your domain name...)

    Good luck!
     
    noobpreneur, Sep 4, 2009 IP
    magicworld11 likes this.
  8. whitefire

    whitefire Peon

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    #8
    i don't think you have a legal leg to stand on, you're using their trademark to profit.
     
    whitefire, Sep 4, 2009 IP
  9. bigbody300

    bigbody300 Well-Known Member

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    #9
    thanks guys...looks like i will be buying a new domain without the FACEBOOK name in the URL and then i should be fine.
     
    bigbody300, Sep 4, 2009 IP
  10. bigbody300

    bigbody300 Well-Known Member

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    #10
    but how can i take advantage of my rankings of the current URL so it transfers to my new url?
     
    bigbody300, Sep 4, 2009 IP
  11. SmallPotatoes

    SmallPotatoes Peon

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    #11
    Of course. All of those domains incorporate Facebook's domain name and there is no question that it is Facebook's product being referenced. None of them would survive legal action.
     
    SmallPotatoes, Sep 4, 2009 IP
  12. funkymario

    funkymario Notable Member

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    #12
    hi, indeed they have the right to sue you, and they will definitely win the case, because you have their trademark in your domain, i suggest you register a domain like customizedFB.com and do a 301, and disable that site, just let it expire and start promoting your new site.
     
    funkymario, Sep 4, 2009 IP
  13. tomandre

    tomandre Active Member

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    #13
    Yeah...I would stop using it immediately, I've had similar emails coming myself.... :)
     
    tomandre, Sep 5, 2009 IP
  14. sarirejo

    sarirejo Well-Known Member

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    #14
    the domain name mean to facebook.com. maybe they have the right to sue you.
     
    sarirejo, Sep 5, 2009 IP
  15. abboodeh

    abboodeh Well-Known Member

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    #15
    I second this, actually they have got a point of using their domain name, im so sorry but i guess they've the right to sue you if you didnt put the site down(assuming the email is really from facebook)
     
    abboodeh, Sep 5, 2009 IP
  16. joshvelco

    joshvelco Peon

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    #16
    You really have no hope of winning against them in a legal battle, although this seems unfair, and very pedantic, I would do what they say
     
    joshvelco, Sep 5, 2009 IP
  17. hoppimike

    hoppimike Peon

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    #17
    that seems a bit harsh, but I guess it's up to them how they approach protecting their trademark. Well done on changing the domain :)
     
    hoppimike, Sep 5, 2009 IP
  18. bigbody300

    bigbody300 Well-Known Member

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    #18
    yeah i got a new doman - and am currenlty using s 301 redirect...i will release the name soon to facebook
     
    bigbody300, Sep 5, 2009 IP
  19. kidding

    kidding Peon

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    #19
    Using trademarks in domain name is illegal . I think the only solution is to change the name as you confirmed that the email is from Facebook .
     
    kidding, Sep 5, 2009 IP
  20. youssef93

    youssef93 Active Member

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    #20
    Will this differ whether you're hosted on onshore or offshore? I mean, UDRP and other US laws apply only in the US and on US servers, right? NO! I'm not encouraging to violate the law, just asking a simple question.
     
    youssef93, Sep 5, 2009 IP