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Facebook Businesses The Courts

Facebook Denies Disputed Page To Both Mercks 210

itwbennett writes "In follow-up to yesterday's story about how Merck in Germany is threatening legal action to take its vanity Facebook URL back from Merck U.S., Facebook apologized for its 'administrative error' in reassigning the URL but said that if the two companies can't play nice, no one will get the URL."
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Facebook Denies Disputed Page To Both Mercks

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  • Re:Trademarks? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cajun Hell ( 725246 ) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @12:13PM (#38203020) Homepage Journal

    Fantastic, so now Facebook has the right of determining valid trademarks, on top of all the personal data it collects

    It's is Facebook's namespace (and you can have on too, right now, if you want). They get to decide whether or not trademarks are even relevant within this namespace, let alone top priority at the expense of all other concerns. Why would it be anyone else's decision?

    Just because some random arbitrary private namespace out there happens to get popular, doesn't mean the rest of society needs to "officially" recognize it, legitimize it, adopt it, regulate it, or take it seriously. It's just a pathname component in someone's website, and it's their site, just like a hypothetical "Apple" directory on my computer which contains a file called "Disney" is my file in my directory on my computer, and no one else deserves .0000001% say in the matter.

    When today's fools finally learn this, then they won't be afraid of new TLDs, BTW.

  • by Lord Crc ( 151920 ) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @12:17PM (#38203104)

    And what would you do, then? It's not like it can magically decide which of the two companies you want to see when you input the URL.

    I'd do what Wikipedia does, turn it into a disambiguation page, listing all relevant pages.

  • by cpghost ( 719344 ) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @12:18PM (#38203110) Homepage
    Really, wtf? Both companies have more than enough resources to set up their own domains and webpages where they can do whatever they want, without any kind of interference whatsoever. Why would they need to be on Facebook at all when they can have their very own place on the Net? This Facebook craze is going waaaay too far, IMHO. Individuals who don't want to or can't set up their own domains can go with it, no problems, but big companies?
  • Re:Difficult problem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @12:26PM (#38203210)

    Neither of the Merck companies bought it, so it belongs to FaceBook. And the terms&conditions when registering the name includes provisions for not infringing others trademarks, and for Facebook to take back the URL for breaching the T&Cs.

    Facebook is doing the sensible thing here. The company names are distinguishable - Merck KGaA and Merck and Co. Given that neither is called just "Merck", it makes sense to make them use distinguishable pages, probably with their full company name.

    Better yet is if Facebook could put a page at FaceBook/Merck with links to both companies new vanity URLs.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato