Closed-book on Facebook’s casebook

by | Mar 30, 2017 | Despatch

Facebook sooled its lawyers onto Sydney entrepreneur, John Maconochie, after Maconochie tried to set up a business with the word “book” in its name.

Although the social media giant has been reticent about suing big companies like Apple for its “Facetime” marque, it has shut down a raft of small operators; the likes of Petbook, Teachbook, and Designbook for trademark infringement.

As reported here last year, Maconochie lawyered-up and took on Facebook. It is a ridiculous notion that anybody could claim a right to the word “book”. And John Maconochie’s business “Medibook” was all about recording patients’ medical files, another field of business from Facebook altogether.

Sensibly, Facebook has now retreated. “I got confirmation from IP Australia that the Medibook mark is now registered,” said Maconochie. “From Facebook’s viewpoint, I think it was a sensible decision to withdraw their opposition which paved the way for the ultimate registration of the mark. “Closedbook” on that one, thankfully.”

Facebook claims to own the word “book”



Michael West

Michael West

Michael West established to focus on journalism of high public interest, particularly the rising power of corporations over democracy. Formerly a journalist and editor at Fairfax newspapers and a columnist at News Corp, West was appointed Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Sydney’s School of Social and Political Sciences. You can follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelWestBiz.


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