Monday, February 3, 2014

Social: Facebook Flexes Its Bully Muscles by Infringing On Smaller App Company's Trademark

I knew this was coming the instant I read that Facebook was going to name its new copycat reader app "Paper".  So I wasn't not all that surprise to read this from NYT.  Other blogs have begun to propagate this story.

It's so wrong on two fronts.  One, it's basically copying Flipboard.  It figures it can go out and spend billions to acquire app makers or copy them.  With $1 billion for Instagram, it succeeded.  With Snap Chat, the founders turned it down at $3 billion.

I'm sure it decided it probably won't be able to buy out Flipboard and decided to copy it. 

Now, there's the issue of the name of the app, Paper.  There is already a very well regarded app called "Paper" from FiftyThree.

The two apps are not similar but the trademark name belonged to FiftyThree.  FiftyThree's Paper is an elegant app that turns your iPad into a sketchbook that has continued to be updated with new features and services.  Useful features and services. 

Facebook's app as I've said is a Flipboard copycat to drain more ad dollars and further weakend privacy walls.

And Facebook figured with its billions could withstand any challenges and drag this thing out as long as it wanted to. 

What's worse is the double-standard that the Zucker and Company use.  It has gone after companies that used the word "book" in their name or logo. 

This move isn't unlike the recent "candy" trademark employed by the Candy Crush Saga maker. 

Pretty soon, people will be left with no choice but to make up their own words, or worse, their own languages.

On a personal note, I think companies being able to trademark commonly used words is idiotic but it doesn't innovation or creation.  I have a bit different notion on patents.  However, even with patents, some stuff just shouldn't be patented if they are natural and makes sense.  I'll let you decide for yourself where you draw your own line on this.

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