Facebook has lodged a trademark infringement lawsuit against Teachbook, a small social networking site designed especially for teachers, citing eight causes for action.
The social networking giant seems to have taken offence to Teachbook touting itself as an alternative to Facebook, while trading on its name.
"Of course the Teachbook folks are free to create an online network for teachers or whomever they like, and we wish them well in that endeavor," said a Facebook spokesperson.
"What they are not free to do is trade on our name or dilute our brand while doing so."
A page on Teachbook which has since been removed seems to confirm the site's intention of creating an alternative to Facebook.
"Many schools forbid their teachers to maintain Facebook and MySpace accounts because of the danger that students might learn personal information about their teachers,” it read.
“With Teachbook, you can manage your profile so that only teachers and/or school administrators can see your personal information, blogs, posts, and so on.”
The world’s largest social network claimed in the filing that it had asked the defendant to stop using the brand name, but it refused to do so.
The continued use of the mark has injured Facebook’s reputation by confusing the public into thinking that the site is “endorsed or sponsored by Facebook”, the filing noted.
Facebook added that the use of Teachbook by the defendant has been a “deliberate, wilful intent to trade on Facebook’s reputation or to cause dilution of the famous Facebook marks”.
The social network wants the Teachbook mark deemed void and any revenue earned from the site handed over. Facebook is also seeking unspecified damages.
Since bursting onto the scene in 2004, Facebook has grown significantly. It currently has 500 million users, who spend in excess of 700 billion minutes per month on the site, according to the network.
Teachbook registered its name for use on the internet in 2009.
V3.co.uk reached out to both sites for comment, but they had not responded at the time of writing.
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