Business Sues Facebook to Restore Its Fan Page–Complexions v. Complexions Day Spa

28 02 2011

By Eric Goldman

Complexions Inc. v. Complexions Day Spa and Wellness Center, Inc., 1:11-cv-00197-GLS -DRH (NDNY complaint filed Feb. 18, 2011)

The primary litigants are two identically named but geographically separated day spas. It appears they are colliding online. This type of trademark clash (the Internet overlaid on geographically separate businesses) is as old as the Internet; my favorite early case of this genre is Bensusan Restaurant Corp., v. King, 937 F. Supp. 295 (S.D.N.Y.1996) (the “Blue Note” case). As those disputes go, this one looks run-of-the-mill.

The clash has spilled over to Facebook, and that’s where things get more interesting. The plaintiff (who is seeking a declaratory judgment, so it is the alleged junior trademark user) maintained a Facebook fan page with 1,000 fans. In January, the DJ defendant sent a takedown notice asserting the fan page violated its copyright (the complaint says “copyright”, but I wonder if it meant “trademark”), which prompted Facebook to take down the page. The DJ plaintiff (para. 85) wants the page back: “Plaintiff is entitled to injunctive relief restoring its Facebook Page to the Facebook Social Networking Site.”


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