Los Angeles – Parody site Lamebook and social networking site Facebook have reached a settlement in a trademark dispute that erupted last year. Lamebook, a regularly updated blog that re-posts funny and lame Facebook updates, pictures, and conversations, will be allowed to retain its name but must add a disclaimer to its website stating that it is not in affiliation with Facebook.
“We are pleased to arrive at an agreement that protects Facebook’s brand and trademark and allows for Lamebook’s continued operation,” the companies said in a joint statement. “The parties are now satisfied that users are not likely to be confused.”
As part of the settlement agreement, Lamebook has agreed not to trademark its name. The blog allows users to submit the “funny, ridiculous, and outright crazy posts that can be found on your favorite social networking site.”
The settlement agreement resolves a legal dispute dating back to 2010, when Facebook demanded in a cease and desist letter that Lamebook stop using its name. At the time, Facebook objected to “attempts to create brand names that trade off of Facebook’s fame.” As the dispute heated up, Facebook vowed to diligently block all outgoing links to Lamebook.com, shut down the small company’s Facebook page, and block visitors to the funny site from ‘liking’ posts.
In response to Facebook’s cease and desist letter, Austin, Texas-based Lamebook filed a complaint against the social networking giant in U.S. District Court in the Western District Court of Texas. Lamebook sought a decision that it doesn’t infringe on Facebook’s brand or trademark since the two are not in competition with each other. The matter was dismissed pursuant to the agreement.
Facebook is currently in another legal battle with Teachbook. In its complaint against the networking site for school teachers, Facebook is alleging that Teachbook’s name is likely to cause users to believe that it is “endorsed or sponsored” by Facebook.
Teachbook, seeking a dismissal of the case, claims that the only commonality it shares with Facebook is the “indistinct, generic word “book.”