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Attention Internet Folks: Facebook Apparently Owns the Word “Book”



In the category of “Why should this even surprise anyone?”, Facebook is working hard to shut down any social networking service that is incorporating the word “book” into their name.

Over at Wired magazine’s Threat Level blog it reports on a small start-up called Teachbook that is either delusional or just milking as much publicity as they can out of their moment in the muted spotlight of the Internet.

Social-networking upstart Teachbook said Wednesday it would challenge a trademark infringement lawsuit brought by Facebook, which is demanding the teacher-oriented site remove “book” from its name.

This is a popular pastime of Facebook’s legal team

Facebook, in a lawsuit Threat Level reported on Tuesday, claims the term “book” cannot be used to name social-networking sites. The Palo Alto-based site claims Teachbook might dilute its famous name or cause confusion over which is the real Facebook.

Facebook doesn’t seem to be focused solely on social-networking sites, either. It leveraged its financial weight earlier this month to demand an upstart travel site to rename itself from Pricebook.

This seems so silly that it reminded of an ‘article’ that made me fall in love with The Onion way back in 1998. The title of the ‘article’ was “Microsoft Patents Ones, Zeroes”. If you would like to have some retro Internet fun go back and read it.

So should Disney be concerned that Facebook will try to set a legal precedent and sue them for using the Term “Jungle Book”? Will Facebook use its special powers to make its ownership of anything using the word ‘book’ retroactive throughout all of time with the claim that these companies should have known that Markie and the Zucks would exist in the future and rule the planet? Should Rudyard Kipling’s estate brace itself as well?

We are getting pretty close to the point where Facebook turns into Microsoft and starts to lampoon itself with stupid corporate tricks that make us mere mortals shake our heads and ask that popular Internet question “WTH?” (feel free to insert your version of this here but we try to keep a PG-13 rating here at MP).