Lamebook, a website that mocks the funny and “lame” things people post on Facebook, is trying to beat the social network to the punch.
After being threatened with a trademark infringement suit by Facebook earlier this year, Lamebook has decided to sue first, claiming the site isn’t a social network. It’s an obvious parody, the site’s lawyers said in a complaint filed in federal court in Austin last week.
Therefore, it’s protected by the First Amendment. It’s asking the court to declare that use of the term “Lamebook” doesn’t infringe or violate Facebook’s copyrights.
“Facebook’s claims and demands have created a reasonable apprehension of litigation and have place a cloud over Lambook’s ability to make use of the Lamebook mark and thereby caused uncertainty to Lamebook in connection with its business,” the complaint said.
Lawyers for both parties had been in discussions for months, but were unable to reach a resolution, according to the complaint.
Lamebook, founded in 2009, is represented by attorneys from Bracewell & Giuliani in Texas. Attorneys from Cooley are handling the case for Facebook. Cooley is also handling a trademark infringement suit that Facebook filed in August against Teachbook.com.
“We’re disappointed that after months of working with Lamebook they have turned to litigation,” Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said in a statement. “We believe their website is an improper attempt to trade off of Facebook’s popularity and fame and we will continue to protect our brand and trademark.”