Facebook trademark suit against Faceporn goes nowhere in court

Facebook claims that Norwegian site Faceporn infringed on its good name. A federal judge in California begs to differ.

Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Things don't seem to quite be going Facebook's way currently.

It has something to do with being a little too puffed up (at least by its bankers), so I'm told.

I am sad, therefore, to bring news of more bad tidings for the company. For it has been whipped in court by a doubtless upstanding Norwegian site called Faceporn.

Faceporn, as its name indicates, brings pornography to your face. And Facebook, which in its keenness, claims trademark ownership of myriad combinations of the words "face", "book," and "porn" (I might be wrong about that last one), has sued Faceporn in a California court, citing trademark infringement.

However, as Paid Content breathlessly informs me, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White declared that there was no evidence that Faceporn has attempted to corrupt anyone in California with its product. Therefore, he said, Facebook had no case.

You will not be ululating with surprise on hearing that Facebook had made draconian demands. It pleaded that Faceporn should simply give its good name to Facebook and pay all of the company's attorney fees.

Facebook hasn't been entirely successful in restraining companies around the world from using two of the English language's most common words.

Teachbook and Shagbook appear still to be going strong, while Facebook's original antipathy toward Lamebook seems to have been mollified with a settlement.

For its part, Faceporn, which brings together the social and sexual aspects of life -- but in a different way from Facebook -- still might be sued in Norway.

But who, really, is going to confuse the two? Surely, no one with functioning faculties would imagine that Facebook would suddenly stoop to making money out of porn.

Then again, if that share price keeps dropping, who knows what might occur?

Teachbook is still going strong. Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET
 

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