Facebook Sues Illinois Startup Website Teachbook

Teachbook vows to fight lawsuit and launch

By Andrew Greiner
|  Thursday, Aug 26, 2010  |  Updated 8:30 AM CDT
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The behemoth social network that known as Facebook is suing the Northbrook, Illinois-based educator’s website Teachbook.

Facebook takes issue with their use of the word “book” which, according to the lawsuit, they claim infringes on their brand.

"If others could freely use 'generic plus BOOK' marks for online networking services targeted to that particular generic category of individuals, the suffix BOOK could become a generic term for 'online community/networking services' or 'social networking services,' " Facebook argued in the lawsuit, which was filed in San Jose district court. "That would dilute the distinctiveness of the Facebook Marks."

The lawsuit can be found at Wired.com.

Teachbook, which has been in development since early 2009, hasn’t launched yet. Since filing for a trademark application in March 2009, the start up has been working with Facebook to circumvent the issue, but now that the multi-billion-dollar company has brought legal action, principals with the company say they’ll fight.

“It’s a David and Goliath situation,” Greg Shrader, the managing partner of the Teachbook told Wired magazine.  ”They’re throwing bombs at a mosquito. They believe we’re going to roll over and in some respect they get to own the term ‘book.’”

Teachbook is a designed as a resource for teachers to store and share lesson plans, videos and the like and also to communicate with parents and students.

Shrader compared Facebook’s lawsuit to “bombing a mosquito”.

"We've been sitting here scratching our heads for the last couple of days," Shrader told the Chicago Tribune. "We're trying to understand how Facebook, a multi-billion dollar company, feels this small enterprise in Chicago is any type of threat."
 

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