Thursday, October 29, 2009

Aaron Greenspan Settles Trademark Dispute With Facebook : Facebook as a Trademark for a Social Media Network

According to an InsideFacebook.com posting on May 22, 2009 by Justin Smith, Facebook Announces Settlement of Legal Dispute with Another Former Zuckerberg Classmate, and also according to a posting by Nick O'Neill on May 23, 2009 at All Facebook.com, which calls itself "The Unofficial Facebook Resource", Aaron J. Greenspan settled his trademark dispute with Facebook.com Aaron Greenspan Settles Trademark Dispute With Facebook.

But this does not mean in any way that the basic question of Facebook.com's rightful attempted appropriation of the name Facebook as a trademark is resolved.

Instructive in this regard is a posting at the Citizen Media Law Project, Naming Your Business: Choosing A Name Capable of Trademark Protection.

The trouble with the Facebook trademark claim is that allthough descriptive names can obtain trademark protection by use, a generic name can never receive trademark protection and there is little dispute that the term "face book" was used as a generic name for printed matter for the kind of thing that facebook.com is doing digitally.

As in the instant case, much is simply chance and circumstance involving forseeable developments in a given field, with the luckiest or cleverest or most ruthless operator winning.

InsideFacebook reported concerning the settlement as follows:
"In the statement, Zuckerberg said:

"Aaron and I studied together at Harvard and I’ve always admired his entrepreneurial spirit and love of building things. I appreciate his hard work and innovation that led to building houseSYSTEM, including the Universal Face Book feature. At school, I was even a member of houseSYSTEM. We are pleased that we’ve been able to amicably resolve our differences.""

So there you have it.

One of the principal areas in which the laws and courts have become hopelessly tangled is precisely in this arena especially in patent law, where the mere conversion of already invented things from printed format to digital application suddenly has been viewed by some to involve "an inventive step".

Legally, as a matter of trademark protection, Facebook can argue that in the digital field the trademark name Facebook for a social media network is not generic but descriptive, and as such is entitled by its already worldwide use to trademark protection as a social media network name. But in our view, that is all.

Is there a Trademark in Facebook.com's Facebook name and if so, Who Owns It?

Is Facebook.com entitled to claim a trademark to the name Facebook?

Read
this article by Chris Williams at The Register

for some of the things that have gone on in the background in the past concerning the alleged Facebook trademark.

Facebook - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A lot of information about Facebook.com is available at the Wikipeida, although in this case I would be skeptical about the reliability of all statements found there. See Facebook at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Who Founded Facebook? The Case of Aaron J. Greenspan

At the New York Times, John Markoff had a September 1, 2007, article titled:

Who Founded Facebook? A New Claim Emerges:
"Aaron J. Greenspan [a] Harvard classmate ... says he was actually the one who created the original college social networking system.... And he has the e-mail messages to show it.

As a Harvard student in 2003 ... Mr. Greenspan established a simple Web service that he called houseSYSTEM. It was used by several thousand Harvard students for a variety of online college-related tasks. Mr. Zuckerberg was briefly an early participant.

An e-mail message, circulated widely by Mr. Greenspan to Harvard students on Sept. 19, 2003, describes the newest feature of houseSYSTEM, as “the Face Book,” an online system for quickly locating other students. The date was four months before Mr. Zuckerberg started his own site, originally “thefacebook.com.” (Mr. Greenspan retained his college e-mail messages and provided The New York Times with copies of his communications with Mr. Zuckerberg.)
"
DaveChaffey.com in Facebook case study writes:
"It is also alleged that another system predated Facebook. Aaron J. Greenspan, a Harvard student in 2003 created a simple web service that he called houseSYSTEM. It was used by several thousand Harvard students for a variety of online college-related tasks — six months before Facebook started and eight months before ConnectU went online. Mark Zuckerberg was briefly an early participant. No suit has been filed by Greenspan, instead he has published a book about his experience."
Greenspan can be found online at AaronGreenspan.com where he has a link to his book Authoritas: One Student's Harvard Admissions and the Founding of the Facebook Era.

Greenspan posts at the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aaron-greenspan where his bio writes:
"Aaron invented The Facebook while attending Harvard College in September 2003 and graduated with an A.B. in Economics in 2004."
His most recent posting of October 5, 2009 at the Huntington Post is titled The Fallacy of Execution (and Sex), or Why Mark Zuckerberg Doesn't Answer Questions About Facebook's Origins and he writes as follows:
"I've been told time and again that the reason Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook succeeded over my own at Harvard is that I simply didn't "execute," while my classmate did. And so without casting any blame, I'd like to put everything that notion implies to rest. In his latest thirty-minute-long interview, Mark didn't mention anything about the fully-functional and heavily-marketed houseSYSTEM integrated student portal that was far more than a mere idea, the "Facebook" component that he joined along with his co-founders, the hours he spent visiting and re-visiting the site in January of 2004, or the Harvard College Student Entrepreneurship Council that created it, let alone the decades-long history of face books at educational institutions across the country. That doesn't mean that those products, organizations and events never happened, however. There's plenty of evidence indicating that they did."

Facebook Company Profile at CrunchBase

CrunchBase writes about the origin of the name Facebook at facebook.com as follows:

Facebook Company Profile:
"The original idea for the term Facebook came from Zuckerberg’s high school (Phillips Exeter Academy). The Exeter Face Book was passed around to every student as a way for students to get to know their classmates for the following year. It was a physical paper book until Zuckerberg brought it to the internet."


But compare the next posting.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Twitter and 'Face Book' - Older Than the Internet

Switched headlines:

"Twitter and 'Face Book' Are Older Than the Internet"

InstantShift List of Top Social Media Networking Sites as of October 2009

Instant Shift has created a comprehensive list of top social media network sites as of October 19, 2009.

See:

List Of Top Social Media Network Sites | Showcases | instantShift

Facebook and Twitter Prototypes are "As Old as the Hills"

Just how innovative are social media networking applications? Or are they merely successful (or less successful) digital conversions of concepts that have existed long before them?

The social media networking application hosted at Facebook.com has become very popular in recent years, but the idea of a "Face Book" is at least over 100 years old.

"Twitter" as gossip can be traced back more than 60 years.

Jenna Wortham reports at Bits Blog in the New York Times in The 'Face Book Fad' Is More Than a Century Old:
"Bryan Benilous, a historical newspaper specialist at the digital-archive company Proquest, said he and his colleagues came across a Boston Daily Globe article from August 24, 1902, titled, "Face Book The New Fad," describing a party game where revelers sketch out cartoony caricatures for fun."
As Wortham writes in addition:
"[Benilous has also] uncovered a 1942 Washington Post article titled "Think Before You Twitter" about gossiping and a 1903 article referring to the first "pocket telephone.""

Most Popular Posts

Our Websites and Blogs

3D Printing and More 99 is not 100 Aabecis AK Photo Blog Ancient Egypt Weblog Ancient Signs (the book) Ancient World Blog AndisKaulins.com Anthropomorphic Design Archaeology Travel Photos (blog) Archaeology Travel Photos (Flickr) Archaeo Pundit Arts Pundit Astrology and Birth Baltic Coachman Bible Pundit Biotechnology Pundit Book Pundit Chronology of the Ancient World Computer Pundit DVD Pundit Easter Island Script Echolat edu.edu Einstein’s Voice Energy Environment and Climate Blog Etruscan Bronze Liver of Piacenza EU Laws EU Legal EU Pundit FaceBook Pundit Gadget Pundit Garden Pundit Golf Pundit Google Pundit Gourmet Pundit Hand Proof HousePundit Human Migrations Idea Pundit Illyrian Language Indus Valley Script Infinity One : The Secret of the First Disk (the game) Jostandis Journal Pundit Kaulins Genealogy Blog Kaulinsium Kiel & Kieler Latvian Blog LawPundit.com Law Pundit Blog LexiLine.com LexiLine Group Lexiline Journal Library Pundit Lingwhizt LinkedIn Literary Pundit Magnifichess Make it Music Maps and Cartography Megalithic World Megaliths Blog Megaliths.net Minoan Culture Mutatis Mutandis Nanotech Pundit Nostratic Languages Official Pundit Phaistos Disc Pharaonic Hieroglyphs Photo Blog of the World Pinterest Prehistoric Art Pundit Private Wealth Blog PunditMania Quanticalian Quick to Travel Quill Pundit Road Pundit Shelfari Sky Earth Drones Sky Earth Native America SlideShare (akaulins) Sport Pundit Star Pundit Stars Stones and Scholars (blog) Stars Stones and Scholars (book) Stonehenge Pundit The Enchanted Glass Twitter Pundit UbiquitousPundit Vision of Change VoicePundit WatchPundit Wearable Technology Wizard WeTechWi Wine Pundit Word Pundit xistmz YahooPundit zistmz