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Facebook Sues Adult Internet Companies Promoting Their ‘Face Book of Sex’

Posted May 23, 2011 5:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Facebook has sued several affiliated Internet companies for using the phrase “Face Book of Sex” to promote their adult networking service.

The federal suit names as a defendant Various Inc. and three subsidiaries. Filed in the Northern District of California, the complaint says the defendants operate Facebookofsex.com and affiliated websites in a “blatant attempt” to capitalize on the Facebook name.

WestlawInsider has news of the suit, which alleges trademark infringement, unfair competition and violations of the federal law barring cybersquatting. “Association with defendants' pornographic websites tarnishes Facebook's reputation and abuses the trust of Facebook users,” the suit says.

Facebookofsex.com imitates Facebook features such as the “like” button and a blue band at the top of each page, the suit says. As part of its “sophisticated and methodical scheme” to profit from the Facebook name, Facebookofsex.com encourages co-branded websites and pays them for Internet traffic, the complaint alleges.

FriendFinder has responded by asserting Facebook is infringing its rights by using the term “friend finder” within its site. Facebook counters that its use of the term is descriptive fair use.


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