Sunday, August 31, 2014

Facebook doesn't 'Like' Vietnam restaurant using its brand

A restaurant in central Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) called Nang Ganh has become embroiled in a fight with Facebook.  The owner Ms Nguyen Thi Thanh Nhan originally began selling food online then decided to open a restaurant. Having a background in marketing prompted her to use Facebook to raise money, which led to loans from 160 people, which enabled her to open the restaurant.

She then added a slogan “First restaurant built on Facebook” to her business, as a description. This appeared on signs, menus, bags and promotional items. She also made a trademark application including the slogan.

However the brand soon appeared on a lawyers’ cease and desist letter rom Facebook's attorneys telling her to stop this trademark infringement.  Ms Nguyen has protested in the media that she was using it descriptively since Facebook helped her found her restaurant, that being the truth. She has said she plans to contact Facebook over this.

Mere descriptive use on dissimilar services is going to get her into a tricky trademark law areas. However making a trademark application including Facebook, is not going to be acceptable.

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