We’re the big fans of the man who makes the world more open and connected. So we introduced the “Poking Inventor” action figure. Everyone likes the social network, but we never thought Mr. Mark Zuckerberg would be unhappy with the friendly toy, until we received an email from a Beijing law firm representing Facebook.Inc.
Yes, a law firm from China! The law firm has informed us that the Poking Inventor action figure has not consented to the use of Facebook’s copyrights and trademarks, and at the same time, using Mr. Mark Zuckerberg’s portraiture for commercial purpose. Therefore they request us immediately to cease the marketing and sale of this figure. Here’s what the email has told us:
“To date, FACEBOOK has filed and registered various trademarks, including trademarks “FACEBOOK” and “F”, in various counties and regions, including U.S.A., Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. According to relevant laws and regulations, FACEBOOK’s trademark right is legally protected. In addition, Mr. Mark Zuckerberg’s portraiture shall be legally protected and shall not be used by any other party for commercial purpose without his prior authorization.”
After our research, we discovered that the Beijing law firm is specialized in handling intellectual property cases ranging from patent prosecution, trademark application, intellectual property rights protection and enforcement, to the representation of multinational companies in the handling of their major investment projects and complex litigations in China. Through their investigation on the Poking Inventor action figure, here’s the improper act that they found we have performed:
“Without the authorization of Mr. Mark Zuckerberg and FACEBOOK, you have manufactured and sold on your website the Mark Zuckerberg Action Figures to customers globally, which has used Mr. Mark Zuckerberg’s portraiture for commercial purpose and infringed his legitimate right. In addition, FACEBOOK’s trademark “F” has also been used on these Action Figures, which has also infringed FACEBOOK’s trademark right. Your improper act has infringed upon the legitimate rights of Mr. Mark Zuckerberg and FACEBOOK.”
This is very serious, since the improper act we have performed may…
“mislead the relevant public into believing that you are an authorized dealer of Mr. Mark Zuckerberg and FACEBOOK or you have some relationship with Mr. Mark Zuckerberg and FACEBOOK in business and/or in law.”
And here’s what we were told to do,
“(1) immediately stopping manufacturing and sales of any products infringing the legitimate rights of Mr. Mark Zuckerberg and FACEBOOK, including but not limited to the Action Figures, any accessory containing FACEBOOK’s trademarks; (2) immediately destroying all remaining products infringing legitimate rights of Mr. Mark Zuckerberg and FACEBOOK; (3) immediately disclosing the accounting of your sales of the Mark Zuckerberg Action Figures and any other infringing products; (4) immediately remove all depictions or listings for the Mark Zuckerberg Action Figures from your website.”
M.I.C. Gadget hereby apologizes to Mr. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook.Inc, and their Beijing law firm for any inconvenience caused. M.I.C. Gadget hereby clarifies that all of its editors and writers have NO relationship with Mr. Mark Zuckerberg and FACEBOOK in business and/or in law. M.I.C. Gadget had only produced 300 Poking Inventor action figures, and there are no more stock on our hands. The figurine is discontinued, and will not appear on Earth anymore. Upon Facebook’s request, we will stop the marketing and sale of the figurine.
Actually, we are wondering if Facebook registered the trademarks, “FACEBOOK” and “F”, in China while the whole Facebook is entirely banned in the country. The social networking platform is blocked by the the Great Firewall of China. Maybe Zuckerberg’s trip to China could explain that. Last year, Zuckerberg traveled to China and met with some of China’s top technology executives including Baidu CEO Robin Li, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma and Sina CEO Charles Chao. Everyone is guessing whether Facebook is planning to enter the Chinese Internet market this year. Anyway, did Facebook really own the FACEBOOK’s trademark in China? It is hard to believe at the moment, Facebook is banned in China, and there is a Facebook’s trademark in China?