You may have heard already that Facebook has been pretty aggressive of late in attempting to enforce its trademark rights– particularly against those using trademarks that incorporate either “–book” or “face-“.
If you’ve visited the website Lamebook, and, like me, were wondering when the other shoe would drop, here’s your update: it has.
But this time, Facebook is on the other side of the “v.”
After receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Facebook, Lamebook has filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration of non-infringement and non-dilution. One reason for this might be, as Robin Wauters of TechCruch points out, that Lamebook, an Austin-based company, wants to keep the lawsuit in Texas.
Ultimately, the issue in this case may to come down to whether Lamebook is engaged in a valid parody. This opens up the following question: to the extent that trademark parody doctrine is grounded on free speech/First Amendment concerns, what are Lamebook’s relevant speech interests here?