Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Facebook's Faces Trademark Suit Over Timeline

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the ask-the-traveler-for-help dept.

Facebook 83

sydneyhype writes "Facebook's recently announced Timeline feature is up against legal action from an online social-scrapbooking company that has been in business since 2008. The company, Timelines.com, filed a trademark-infringement suit yesterday against Facebook, claiming it is to prevent being 'rolled over and quite possibly eliminated by the unlawful action by the world's largest and most powerful social-media company, Facebook.'"

cancel ×

83 comments

Fuck facebook (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580476)

Facebook is for loosers who like to be robbed ANUSILY!
--
Sincerly, ~Myspace Tom

Re:Fuck facebook (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580512)

A++ quality post!

Re:Fuck facebook (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580540)

Don't Fuck facebook.. Face fuckbook!

Re:Fuck facebook (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580706)

Even most Facebookers can spell better than that.

Re:Fuck facebook (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580980)

fecebook

Can only assume Trademark is the verb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580484)

With faces being a noun since facebook posses it, tradmark is the most likely verb.

So some faces at Facebook are trademarking a suit over at timeline. Well good for them.

Re:Can only assume Trademark is the verb (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37580530)

I understand your incomprehension. Apparently Zuckerberg is serious about getting into men's fashion, though.

Re:Can only assume Trademark is the verb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580884)

Are pants fashion?

Re:Can only assume Trademark is the verb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580534)

Looks more like "Facebook is Faces Trademark Suit Over Timeline" to me.

In other news.. (4, Insightful)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 2 years ago | (#37580532)

National Geographic [wikipedia.org] , the band Ayreon [wikipedia.org] , the band Rennaissance [wikipedia.org] , MIT [wikipedia.org] and, despite being dead, Michael Crichton [wikipedia.org] have joined the suit.

Re:In other news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580828)

Trademarks are enforced in similar areas. I think social scrapbooking is pretty close to social networking.

Re:In other news.. (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582154)

Wait, isn't that like ATM machine or PIN number? I thought "scrapbook" was short for "social crap book".

Re:In other news.. (1)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582798)

No, "scrapbook" refers to a book containing scraps.

(I can whoosh myself, thank you very much.)

Re:In other news.. (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585398)

"Ooh". "Ahhh." That's how cloning Zombie Michael Crichton always starts.

Then later there's running, and thinly veiled right-wing political commentary, and screaming,

Help! Taco, come back to us! (5, Insightful)

utkonos (2104836) | more than 2 years ago | (#37580544)

You have left us at the mercy of trolls and idiots. Headlines don't even make sense anymore.

Re:Help! Taco, come back to us! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580580)

Why, this is a perfectly good headline about the faces of Facebook trademarking a suit while looking down on a timeline!

I knew that Zuckerberg hat more faces than a hydra of hydras, but I didn't know that you could trademark business clothes... Will Barnie be pleased?

What? As if you had read TFS...! :P

Re:Help! Taco, come back to us! (4, Funny)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#37580630)

You have left us at the mercy of trolls and idiots. Headlines don't even make sense anymore.

Grasshopper [1], with the great master having achieved enlightenment and moved on from our plane of existence the time has come for you to push yourself beyond your limits and reach for enlightenment yourself. Only when you have studied the The great work [wikipedia.org] and understood its nuances will you only start to understand such inscrutable works as "facebook's faces trademark suit over timeline"
 
[1] Or "Young Padawan" for those who were too young to have experienced the sublime master (or was that the "ridiculous master" - I really appreciated Kill Bill for a number of reasons)

Re:Help! Taco, come back to us! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580774)

The current cookie at the bottom of the page is:

When I left you, I was but the pupil. Now, I am the master. - Darth Vader

The unintentionally funny thing is ... (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#37581918)

The unintentionally funny thing is Taco did a few things for the window manager "enlightenment" before slashdot.
Thus he'd not only reached enlightenment but also ePlus :)

Re:The unintentionally funny thing is ... (2)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582162)

Yeah, but before 2000 a well-executed Hello World was sufficient to get VC funding.

And even for a couple of years after that anyone who hadn't gone completely insane needed very little brain to achieve. (That would explain how I got anywhere, anyway.)

Re:The unintentionally funny thing is ... (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582214)

Yeah, but before 2000 a well-executed Hello World was sufficient to get VC funding.

Only in America.

Re:Help! Taco, come back to us! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580816)

You're kidding right? He was bad as anyone else. People bitched about how he wasn't an proper editor for years.

You are delusional.

Re:Help! Taco, come back to us! (2)

utkonos (2104836) | more than 2 years ago | (#37581096)

An proper editor. I like!

Re:Help! Taco, come back to us! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37581292)

Why assumed a name you has, Yoda's?

Re:Help! Taco, come back to us! (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582716)

Bad grammar aside, you still are delusional. Things were just as bad when Taco was around.

Too generic (4, Insightful)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#37580552)

The term "time line" is such a common generic term. I doubt their suit has any legal standing.

If it did have legal standing, then we would see sites like Dictionary.com suing every site that had a dictionary, or Sex.com that sued every news site that had a sex carried column. It would freeze the Internet as we know it and all sites would be required to use pig latin to communicate (until most common pig latin terms are monopolized, and then we'd only be left with gibberish if we're lucky).

 

Re:Too generic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580690)

Ah but Facebook is using "Timeline" not "time line" ... clearly thats a big (and trademarkable) difference.

Re:Too generic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580780)

so is twitter, though they've been using it much longer.

Re:Too generic (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#37584648)

ourtimelines.com [ourtimelines.com] has been using the term "timeline" since 2000. And has delivered millions of timelines. Facebook is just a little late to the party here.

Re:Too generic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580696)

You're right.. that is really generic... but who gives a sht? Facebook sues if you use the "book" in your name, and is trying to register a trademark for the word "face"

Re:Too generic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580822)

And if you think I'm kidding.. here's their uspto application for "face":
http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=78980756

Re:Too generic (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37580968)

Note the class that the trademark would cover.
"International Class: 038
Class Status: Active
Telecommunication services, namely, providing online chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among computer users in the field of general interest and concerning social and entertainment subject matter, none primarily featuring or relating to motoring or to cars"
Anything outside that class could use the word face.

Re:Too generic (2)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#37581684)

Do you notice how all-encompassing that "class" is? It pretty much denotes any subject related to people communicating on the internet, whose only exception appears to be when the subject is about cars.

Re:Too generic (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582104)

So are you saying the only thing in the world are chat rooms a bulletin boards? What about "faceplant.com" a site about funny accidents? What about "Facepalm.com" a site about stupid things people do? Beautifulface.com, a makeup site? Faceoff.com a site about zombies (or maybe hockey)? FacetoFace; an in person counselling service. None of these would be covered by the trademark. Now Facechat.com would not be allowed if it provided online chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards. The trademark covers one type of commercial endeavour and is nowhere near all encompassing..

Re:Too generic (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582260)

I never once said chat rooms and bulletin boards are the "only thing in the world", but if you stretch their meaning as far as the law would allow, it is likely to encompass an enormous chunk of our means of communication on the internet.

In some of your examples, they arguably could try to invoke their trademark, especially if those sites let you comment on the subjects. You seem to think that "online chat rooms" and "electronic bulletin boards" are very specific things with very specific meanings (like a phpBB forum or something), but you'd be wrong. You could twist many things into one of those two meanings, such as having a comments section under pictures where people can post what they thought of a picture or a subject. Could you really suggest they aren't similar to a bulletin board, having many "threads" (multiple pictures) each with their own comments section for that particular topic (picture)?

It's this kind of stretching that can cause problems.

Re:Too generic (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582552)

That is the issue with absolutes like "all encompassing". meaning something that encompasses everything else. It is easy to find a counter example. Perhaps you meant "too broad".

Do you have an example where that kind of stretching has happened? Until then it is just conjecture on you part. One of the main criteria for trademark infringement is the reasonable possibility of confusion between the trademark owner's product and the other product. Facepalm, a youtube like site with specific content and may accept comments, is very difficult to confuse with Facebook. While Facechat could be a product from Facebook. It is all in what the primary product is.

Re:Too generic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580770)

The term "time line" is such a common generic term. I doubt their suit has any legal standing.

Yeah, well, Facebook could escape this legal problem *and* jump on a recent bandwagon by going from a "time line" to a "time cube". [timecube.com]

I look forward to Facebook's imminent introduction of this feature, around the same time that Gene Ray convinces Mark Zuckerberg convinces him to send him all his money. Hey, it can't be any worse than scientology doing the same thing ;-)

Re:Too generic (1)

dristoph (1207920) | more than 2 years ago | (#37581200)

Gibberish? You mean like all those old "Web 2.0" company names? Weebly, Twitter, Etsy, etc, etc...

Weebles wobble but they don't fall down (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37581388)

Not entirely gibberish.
  • Weebly [tnutrition.com] makes me think of Weebles, toys that wobble but don't fall down [youtube.com] .
  • Twitter was 1. a word meaning bird vocalization and 2. a Slashdot user who was controlling over a dozen sockpuppets [slashdot.org] praising GNU/Linux and putting down "M$" (Microsoft).
  • Etsy sounds like a letter fell off Betsy, the kind of old-fashioned name that would be associated with old ladies who make handmade items.

Re:Too generic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582038)

WOOSH

It's a pre-emptive lawsuit. Facebook sues the shit out of anyone who dares use the word face or book, so if their "this changes everything" for this year is something called timeine, then it is entirely possible that Facebook might sue Timeline.

Re:Too generic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37582286)

The term "time line" is such a common generic term. I doubt their suit has any legal standing.

Like Apple, Windows, Oracle... Their owners surely haven't sued anyone over these trademarks, right?

Re:Too generic (1)

Tasha26 (1613349) | more than 2 years ago | (#37584668)

How did they get a trademark in the first place? Isn't prior art such as this [blogspot.com] (made popular by encyclopedias the world over) in the way? So if I make a website to timeline the evolution of something or allow others to do so on my site, then I'll be in trouble? Can someone explain this to me? Thanks.

And In Other News... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37580570)

And in other news, someone else sued Facebook, the sky is blue, water is wet and ice is cold.

Free market perchance? (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 2 years ago | (#37580574)

'Unfortunately', this is how the free market works, and I'm sure many businesses have been bitten by such deaths.

The 'good news' if they do go under is they don't have to put more hard work into updating their site, as the good souls at Facebook would be taking over that role. Google, MS or Apple after that will probably chomp even Facebook then, bringing us all one step closer to an automated society, which is in no way a bad thing.

Maybe I'm Naive But.. (1)

Nukedoom (1776114) | more than 2 years ago | (#37580596)

Timeline.com is just making chronological lists of historical events, which anyone can do with a piece of paper and pen. That idea is probably older than Jesus. How is this a trade-mark infringement? It's like trying to sue someone for making a Venn diagram.

Re:Maybe I'm Naive But.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580650)

Timeline.com is just making chronological lists of historical events, which anyone can do with a piece of paper and pen. That idea is probably older than Jesus. How is this a trade-mark infringement? It's like trying to sue someone for making a Venn diagram.

Older than Jesus? I think we need a timeline to back that up. Also I agree 100%

Re:Maybe I'm Naive But.. (4, Informative)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37580728)

Timeline.com is just making chronological lists of historical events, which anyone can do with a piece of paper and pen. That idea is probably older than Jesus. How is this a trade-mark infringement? It's like trying to sue someone for making a Venn diagram.

This is a trade-mark dispute not a patent dispute. I don't think anyone is questioning the process of recording chronological information; just the name timeline...

Re:Maybe I'm Naive But.. (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#37581020)

That may be, but I don't see how such a generic industry standard term as "timeline" was ever accorded trademark status in the first place.

Then again, MicroSquishy got away with "Windows", and Apple is trying their damnedest to do the same thing to "App Store".

Savez-vous planter Lindows (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37581402)

Then again, MicroSquishy got away with "Windows"

As I remember it, it appeared at one time that the company that produced LindowsOS had a good case for "windows" being generic, and Microsoft agreed to settle the lawsuit and buy the Lindows trademark.

Re:Maybe I'm Naive But.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37583118)

Tell that to the idiots at Zenimax too, not only are they trying to sue Mojang for using the word Scrolls as a title for a game, they seem to not have the slightest clue about Trademark law in that you cannot rule over things containing a component of your Trademark, unless it is obviously a unique word they made up.
Same with Facebook in fact, they somehow managed to get away with suing people using anything in relation to face or book on websites. Fuck the courts, god damn idiots need to get back to law school and learn the damn law.

Re:Maybe I'm Naive But.. (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#37580776)

Maybe timelines.com should be suing the owners of timeline.com before they go after Facebook?

Re:Maybe I'm Naive But.. (1)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37580960)

Maybe timelines.com should be suing the owners of timeline.com before they go after Facebook?

Trade-marks are intended to identify products and services for a particular industry. "timeline.com" appears to be an investigation and security company while "timelines.com" is a historical database. Facebook Timelines on the other hand is both a similar name and similar service and therefore infringes on "timelines.com"

Re:Maybe I'm Naive But.. (5, Funny)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37580976)

Maybe timelines.com should be suing the owners of timeline.com before they go after Facebook?

Trade-marks are intended to identify products and services for a particular industry. "timeline.com" appears to be an investigation and security company while "timelines.com" is a historical database. Facebook Timelines on the other hand is both a similar name and similar service and therefore infringes on "timelines.com"

Maybe they should just shorten it from "Facebook Timelines" to "FaceTime" and save themselves the hassle of a lawsuit :)

Thanks, I'll be here all week.

Re:Maybe I'm Naive But.. (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#37581462)

Maybe they should just shorten it from "Facebook Timelines" to "FaceTime" and save themselves the hassle of a lawsuit :)

Thank you, that's about the most sensible post I've read in this thread. And, I'm a little concerned that I bother replying. Pretty much everyone posting here is clearly drunk (or something). Oh yeah, it's Saturday night, the [AN]LCS games are over for the day; what else is there to do but torment trolls on /.? Update FB "walls"? I think I'll go see haw badly LinkedIn's "Import Resume" feature mangled mine.

[I notice "haw" gets past the /. spellchecker. That should be looked into.]

Marvin the robot comes to mind for some reason.

Re:Maybe I'm Naive But.. (1)

dwillden (521345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37584188)

Whoosh!!!!!

Apple may have issue with FaceTime.

Re:Maybe I'm Naive But.. (1)

Kashgarinn (1036758) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588088)

Did facebook actually trademark "Timeline"?

Re:Maybe I'm Naive But.. (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37580800)

>>It's like trying to sue someone for making a Venn diagram.

The estate of Mr. Venn would like to have words with you, as their copyright on Venn diagrams has recently been extended to life of the author + 120 years, and Mr. Venn died in the early 20s.

Re:Maybe I'm Naive But.. (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593752)

Mr. Venn died in the early 20s.

Tragically killed in an intersection, I presume?

ThinkNett (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580716)

Check out our IT social networking blog www.thinknett.com we are definitely in the beginning stages but are looking for all the tech bloggers we can get. Create a blog today with us and share your ideas on technology between your personal/professional network.

Re:ThinkNett (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#37581524)

Check out our IT social networking blog www.thinknett.com ...

Wow. Sorry, I'm just a little astonished that actually worked.

Have you heard of LinkedIn? Diaspora? Are you re-inventing the wheel?

... share your ideas on technology between your personal/professional network.

I think BestBuy seriously ripped me off selling me this HP Pavilion AMD Turion X2 laptop (dv4), and am currently attempting to make sense of C-50 Dual Core vs. Athlon 64 TF-20 vs. V105, V120, V140, V160 vs. E-240 X1/E-350 X2 vs. Athlon II Neo K125.

Any help? Other than "Never purchase from BestBuy", I mean.

Re:ThinkNett (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582536)

I think BestBuy seriously ripped me off selling me this HP Pavilion AMD Turion X2 laptop (dv4), and am currently attempting to make sense of C-50 Dual Core vs. Athlon 64 TF-20 vs. V105, V120, V140, V160 vs. E-240 X1/E-350 X2 vs. Athlon II Neo K125.

Any help? Other than "Never purchase from BestBuy", I mean.

Never buy HP. What are you, new?

Very weak case (3, Interesting)

dwillden (521345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37580722)

Facebook isn't marketing this as Timelines.com by Facebook or even Timelines by Facebook, it's simply a timeline of your facebook information. A google search of Timelines had multiple items (not related to the news of the suit or to the FB feature) before timelines.com, including at least one other site that does the exact same thing Timelines seems to do. A search of the word Timeline failed to find the site in three pages of links.

If FB were marketing the new Timelines website by FB then the site might have a case, but FB is using a generic term in accordance with it's definition.

Somebody should make a Timeline about the history of such trolls.

Re:Very weak case (1)

Jay L (74152) | more than 2 years ago | (#37581558)

Somebody should make a Timeline about the history of such trolls

ITYM somebody should make a Timeline brand linear time display about the history of such trolls.

Re:Very weak case (4, Informative)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#37581710)

It doesn't help Facebook "stole" the timelines url on facebook.com from timelines.com (which is the url the site was using to bring in their traffic) and used it to redirect to their own offering, essentially stealing the traffic which intended to go to timelines.com and instead went to the facebook version. Considering timelines.com have a valid trademark, Facebook does appear to be in a position where confusion is inevitable.

Re:Very weak case (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582388)

See, there you go with useful information instead of knee-jerk reactions again.

Re:Very weak case (1)

dwillden (521345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37584156)

Your mean the URL http://www.facebook.com/about/timeline [facebook.com] ? How is that generic timeline stolen from timelines.com, what you're claiming is that Facebook stole their URL. Maybe at one point someone did get overzealous and redirected any FB search for Timelines on Facebook to the FB Timeline page, but currently a search comes up with multiple hits for Timelines (including another firm that does web based historical timelines). This company is listed second after the page for a band named Timelines. the FB service is at the bottom of the list. Further the Timelines link has the Timelines (tm) logo beside it, thus reaffirming the identity. FB never infringed on Timeline's own URL, but may briefly have infringed on the FB link within FB to the Timelines FB page (which while still a URL, is actually property of FB.)

Second the case is still very weak as FB does not list historical events. A timeline is a timeline based on information you've entered on your FB page going back to your birth. Unless you comment about some event that becomes of historical note, the FB timelines will not be of significant historical content or value. The complaint claims that the FB service using the generic term Timeline will compete with their service which claims to have the goal of being historically accurate and of educational value as a source of information about historical events. So the claim of Trademark infringement is still very weak. It's your timeline on Facebook, not Timelines by Facebook. FB is not using the same or even a similar logo other than the commonly defined and widely used timeline word, which is being used in accordance with it's definition. This suit sounds like the start of a Trademark troll attack on anyone who wants to use a timeline on their website, with FB as their first target.

Re:Very weak case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37587530)

Ah slashdot, where blatant lies get modded up +5, informative.

facebook.com/timelines takes you to the page for timelines.com
facebook.com/timeline takes you to the about page for the Facebook timeline feature.

Re:Very weak case (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#37592482)

It's in the article and in the lawsuit claims. It doesn't matter if they gave it back after the fact.

But hey, don't let your blatant ignorance of TFA get in the way of your cliche "ah slashdot" response.

90% of slashdotters don't get it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580840)

This isn't about what Timelines.com does, nor is it about the common use of the word - you're all missing the point or don't understand trademarks.

Timelines.com applied for and received the trademark on timelines (trademark number 85432026, look it up on http://tess2.uspto.gov/ ) therefore, in the US at least, they have the sole right to use that word in connection with the caveats on the mark (which includes pretty much anything to do with computers). If someone else, facebook or anyone comes along and uses that word, they have the right to tell them to stop. Otherwise - what's the point of trademarks? FFS I'm Australian and I know more about your trademark system than you guys do.

If you want to argue about "common use" of the word, then it's the USPTO that you need to be directing your complaints too, not timelines.com

Re:90% of slashdotters don't get it (2)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 2 years ago | (#37583310)

Come on. This is the Internet. Surely we can complain about both!

And while I'm at it, I'd like to complain about: how difficult it is to find an apartment in San Francisco, my income taxes, the price of gas (and auto maintenance), and ants.

Especially those dumb ants. Someone should just squish them all.

Trademarks should be... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#37580846)

Trademarks should be used not to try to destroy large businesses who come up with names that may be vaguely similar to the name of an unrelated product, but to protect consumers against fraud. No one in their right mind thinks that Timelines.com and Facebook are in any way related. Trademarks are designed for the purpose so that I know what I'm buying, for example, if I order an Xbox 360 game console, I should receive an Xbox 360 game console and no other makers of game consoles other than Microsoft (or who are affiliated with Microsoft) can make a console called the Xbox 360.

Re:Trademarks should be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37580890)

Nope. That might be the secondary benefit, but the primary benefit is to commercial entities to protect their investment in developing their brand.

Re:Trademarks should be... (1)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | more than 2 years ago | (#37581124)

Trademarks should be used not to try to destroy large businesses who come up with names that may be vaguely similar to the name of an unrelated product, but to protect consumers against fraud. No one in their right mind thinks that Timelines.com and Facebook are in any way related. Trademarks are designed for the purpose so that I know what I'm buying, for example, if I order an Xbox 360 game console, I should receive an Xbox 360 game console and no other makers of game consoles other than Microsoft (or who are affiliated with Microsoft) can make a console called the Xbox 360.

This is definitely the benefit of trademarks to society. Of course, like copyrights and patents, the core concept is abused to the point that it has a negative impact, favoring corporations and wealthy individuals.

Twitter's Look and Feel (2)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 2 years ago | (#37580974)

I think, if anybody should sue them, it should be Twitter. The current Facebook setup seems like a complete ripoff of twitter's style, with its "[X] new stories" bar at the top that you click on to see recent posts. If it's worthwhile to sue over a black rounded rectangle, this seems worth suing over too.

Yep, still silly season (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#37581014)

Dumbest trademark suit since Monster sued Disney over "Monsters, Inc".

Re:Yep, still silly season (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37581674)

While the reasoning behind that sounds stupid, the fact that the lawsuit existed is kind of awesome - no matter who wins, a shit company loses money.

Re:Yep, still silly season (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#37581730)

Really? Creating a service very similar to the other one, naming it in a way that very easily clashes with the trademark (whether you agree with the granted trademark or not), and even taking the url the other company was using to bring in their traffic and instead using it to access facebook's timeline functionality is just as dumb as Monster suing Disney over Monsters, Inc?

You don't get out much.

Re:Yep, still silly season (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#37584288)

Really? Creating a service very similar to the other one, naming it in a way that very easily clashes with the trademark (whether you agree with the granted trademark or not), and even taking the url the other company was using to bring in their traffic and instead using it to access facebook's timeline functionality is just as dumb as Monster suing Disney over Monsters, Inc?

Yep. Because "timeline", in the sense of a sequence of events arranged in chronological order, is generic. As is "monster", in the sense of "monster under the bed". The plurals are generic as well.

What an opportunity for free marketing! (2)

American Patent Guy (653432) | more than 2 years ago | (#37581100)

I mean, attach the word "infringement" to any story, and the marketing people will go nuts! Facebook's lawyers will quickly figure out whether there is any merit to the case, and either change their word or kill Timelines' TM registration. My guess is that Timelines.com knows they're dead meat already, and they're just trying to get a little more VC money before the axe falls.

Evil Inc. vs. Litiguous Gits (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#37582110)

On one hand, we have some unknown company with egos generous enough to consider a common English word their property; on the other, we have a company that has outright stated their users aren't their customers, but their product.

I'm rooting for the lawyers on this one. Bleed 'em both dry.

Whats funny (2)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#37583008)

At the top of their page they have a "Find us on Facebook" link....

So they're using Facebook for their own commercial gain, and now trying to sue them...... what Facebook doesn't have a clause in their TOU about giving FB a license to use their mark?

Maybe Facebook should exercise their right to "turn off" timelines's FB page as a retaliatory measure :)

What the....F&*%? (2)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37583608)

If I enter my last name.com, meaning "strong.com", it redirects to http://www.wellsfargoadvantagefunds.com/ [wellsfargo...efunds.com] .

Should I sue because it tarnishes my name, even though it is completely unrelated based on use and classification?

Give me a break. They want money. :)

A trademark? (2)

dubsnipe (1822200) | more than 2 years ago | (#37583656)

Isn't it too descriptive to be a trademark to begin with?

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...