I’d Like to Start a Hunger Games “Book” Club, but I’m Afraid Facebook Might Sue Me for Trademark Infringement

I’d Like to Start a Hunger Games “Book” Club, but I’m Afraid Facebook Might Sue Me for Trademark Infringement

Have you read the wonderful "book" The Hunger Games? OopsI Let me start over. I shouldn't say "book" for fear of trademark infringement. Instead, let me ask: Have you read the arrangement of pages authored by Suzanne Collins, divided into parts and chapters, and featuring the characters Katniss, Gale and Peeta? Much safer to say that than the "b" word. Better to be careful than to have Facebook throw the arrangement of pages at me.

As reported by several sources (ZDNet / Slash Gear), Facebook's new (though pending) terms and conditions agreement states:

You will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook, and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Book, and Wall), or any confusingly similar marks, except as expressly permitted by our Brand Usage Guidelines or with our prior written consent.

The updated agreement has yet to take effect as Facebook's review of the solicited comments is ongoing.

Despite the new language, Facebook has not officially registered "Book" as a US trademark. However, according to NBC Los Angeles, Facebook will be asserting a "Book" trademark with the European Union. And trademark or not, Facebook has proven itself protective of the "Book" mark as evidenced by its ongoing lawsuit against Teachbook (complaint / Facebook, Inc. v. Teachbook.Com LLC, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110190 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 26, 2011 [enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers])) and its response to Placebook, which allegedly changed its name to TripTrace in order to avoid a Facebook lawsuit. 

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