Steal your Face right off your head

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a blog post so well developed that I can’t rephrase it, riff on it or summarize it, so I have to steal it lock, stock and barrel.  And then it’s about someone who is maybe even cleverer than LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION®!

Well, here’s one of each of those, so no thanks to you, Mike Masnick, for this:

Not so long ago, Facebook launched the ability to secure your own “name” as a part of your URL, but it was done in an awkward way where you wouldn’t be allowed to change it and there were some rules involved in whether or not certain “fan pages” could actually get their name. Over the last few weeks, I’ve heard a few stories of people who had to plead their case [with] friends at Facebook to do something as simple as get to use a name they had been associated with for ages.

Mr. Nuvo

Mr. Nuvo

However, ChurchHatesTucker points us to an amusing situation for the guy who runs the site TrendHunter.com. Apparently, because he didn’t have enough “fans” on his fan pages, he couldn’t register the name for the account. But he didn’t want anyone else taking it… so he used his personal account to grab the “TrendHunter” name. Problem solved? Not quite. Because Facebook, in its infinite wisdom, does not allow you to transfer names you control. So what did he do? Well, he realized the only way to get the name was to file a trademark dispute with Facebook — and so he did. Yes, he basically filed a trademark claim against himself in order to convince Facebook to transfer the name he registered over to the proper account.

Perfectly put, and also very well played by “the guy who runs the site  TrendHunter.com,” which I’m guessing is Jeremy Gutsche, your “innovation expert” right there who has certainly innovated in the area of self-promotion by putting the claim “one of North America’s most requested keynote speakers”[1], in his own scare quotes (pre-innovation, I’d-a thought the footnote would have done the trick).  But all things considered, regarding the sue-yourself-to-secure-your-rights approach:  You’ve got to like the cut of Mr. Gutsche’s jib!

Ron Coleman

Sorry to be so complimentary all at once.

I hope to feel better next week.

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Author:Ron Coleman

I write this blog.

One Response to “Steal your Face right off your head”

  1. MarcW
    August 1, 2009 at 8:39 am #

    When they first did the “get a name as URL” thing, they had a form to lock out trademarks (provide reg number, holder name, ask for lockout) but no form to claim them. So I locked out my client’s marks.

    Then of course the client wanted to use them for marketing, but there’s still no form for that. So I used the “report a TM infringement form,” but in the comments I put, “No infringement. We just wanted our TM URL to point at our existing fan page (URL.)” In 24 hours they had all of the URL’s properly pointed. Cumbersome, but it works, in case anybody who reads this is in the same boat.