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Trademark Law

Facebook Removes ‘Adventists for Life’ Page After Infringement Complaint

Posted Feb 1, 2011 7:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Facebook has removed a page for a group calling itself Adventists for Life after the Seventh-Day Adventists claimed trademark infringement.

Seventh Day Adventist spokesman Garrett Caldwell told the Washington Post that "Adventist" and "SDA" are trademarked and registered names. "We are working hard to try to protect the name and organization associated with the name," he said.

Caldwell said the SDA would have granted permission to use the name if it had been sought. But the Post’s On Faith column wasn’t so sure. It noted that a cease-and-desist letter written by the church’s associate general counsel didn’t mention permission and also asked Adventists for Life to deregister the domain name www.adventistsforlife.org.

“What if other religious groups did the same thing?” the column asks. “In this age of marketing, brand names and search engine optimization, are words such as ‘Jewish’ or ‘Mormon’ or ‘Catholic’ now trademarks?”

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