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Facebook won't have to share its name with food and drink in China

The social network has won a trademark dispute in China that will prevent a local company making "face book"-branded products.

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Facebook food and beverages won't be a thing -- unless the social networks suddenly decides to open a cafe, that is.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Facebook has scored a rare copyright victory in China after a Beijing court dismissed a local company's attempt to register "face book" as a separate trademark.

In the ruling, the company was said to have "violated moral principles" with "obvious intention to duplicate and copy from another high-profile trademark." The court made the decision on April 28, but it was not widely reported at the time.

The Zhongshan Pearl River company wanted to use the "face book" name to sell food and drink, including canned vegetables, potato chips, coffee, tea, candy and juices. It registered the trademark in 2011, but after being preliminarily approved, it was challenged by the social network.

China's trademark laws are often seen as being overly lax, but on this occasion the ruling was decided in Facebook's favour, even though the social network is currently blocked in the country.

Apple lost a similar trademark dispute last week, when a court ruled that companies selling handbags and leather goods would be allowed to continue using the name "IPHONE" to market their goods.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.