Facefood cafe opens on City Road, despite concerns over Facebook trademark

November 15, 2012 2 Comments »

The Facefood cafe has opened on City Road, despite concerns it could be infringing on Facebook’s registered trademark.

It’s the perfect place to connect with old friends, share stories with a group, or simply people-watch.

And a pair of entrepreneurs have launched a cheeky bid to recreate the online appeal of Facebook in the very real setting of a cafe.

Facefood, on City Road, Cardiff, was inspired by the popular website to create a Facebook-themed meeting space.

The juice bar uses Facebook’s iconic font, icons and easily recognisable colour scheme to brand its new space.

But there are fears the design is legally protected as Facebook’s trademark and that the powerful company could prevent the cafe from using the name.

Samir Bougaci, 38, one of the two businessmen who started the cafe, said Facefood could not be confused with Facebook.

“Facefood and Facebook are different. Our cafe has nothing to do with Facebook,” he said.

Samir said that he discussed copyright concerns with his partner, but they decided that legal issues would not stop them.

“I spoke with him about this, but he said food is different from book.

“I’ve been to Morocco and seen Face Cafe, it’s just a different idea.

“I don’t think Facebook will care,” he said.

The cafe, which opened on Monday, offers fresh juices and homemade pastries.

Samir said the juice bar has been popular since it opened.

“We started to plan this in January last year. It was a lot of work, it was very hard to open it,” he said.

Now that the juice bar is open, Samir said they were unprepared for how to respond if Facebook threatened legal action.

“I don’t know what will happen,” he said.

Facebook declined to comment about Facefood, but a spokesman for the company told the BBC: “We’re looking into it.”

Facebook’s website makes clear its comprehensive trademark policy.

“Use of the Facebook trademark or something confusingly similar in your company name or domain name, even in connection with goods/services that are arguably unrelated to those offered by Facebook, can both create consumer confusion as well as dilute the distinctiveness of the Facebook brand and weaken Facebook’s trademark rights.

“It is also a violation of our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities,” states the brand resource centre.

In 2010, Facebook successfully forced travel start-up website Placebook to change its name.

Other famous brands have taken similarly firm action over trademarks.

They include Dolce & Gabbana, the Italian designer label, which served a South African jewellery store Dolce & Banana a trademark infringement lawsuit last year.

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2 Comments

  1. Gnstr November 17, 2012 at 5:49 am - Reply

    in the UK, theres no such thing as "trade dress" laws, which are partly what facebook relies on in the US to prevent any likenesses of its brand

  2. ykelentonador April 8, 2013 at 2:50 am - Reply

    nothing to do with fb!? is she kidding herself!?

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