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Facebook sues for trademark infringement

Written by Demi-Leigh Mason - Student at Southampton Solent University on 07 March 2019

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A complaint was filed on 1st March 2019 in an US Federal Court claiming that four Chinese companies sold fake Facebook and Instagram accounts, and have been doing so since 2017. There are three individuals and four companies which are named in the lawsuit, including 9 Xiu Network (Shenzhen) Science and Technology, 9 Xiu Feishu Science and Technology, 9 Xiufei Book Technology and Home Networking Technology (Fujian).

Within the case, Facebook has reported that the companies used its trademark by using web addresses such as; ‘myfacebook.cc’, ‘facebook88.net’ and ‘infacebook.cc’. However, Facebook is attempting to ban the companies from being able to undertake cybersquatting, which is ‘the practise of registering, using or selling a domain name with the intent to profit from a trademark belonging to someone else’, defined by US Federal Law.

Paul Grewal, Facebook’s Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Litigation announced that the Chinese companies did not only promote the sale of fake Facebook and Instagram accounts, but also Amazon, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and Apple. Mr Grewal stated that ‘inauthentic activity has no place on our platform’ and ‘that’s why we devote significant resources to detecting and stopping this behaviour, including disabling millions of fake accounts every day’.

The social networking company, Facebook, has requested the court to reward them all profits made from the fake accounts, as well as an additional $100,000 of each act of trademark infringement.

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