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Monday, April 22, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Facebook Says Rival Is Stealing Data for Spam

SAN JOSE (CN) - Facebook claims a competitor, Power.com, is stealing electronic data from Facebook users and using it to send commercial spam, while claiming to be part of the "Facebook team." The complaint in Federal Court says, "Defendant essentially admits that its activities violate Facebook's rights, and it has informed Facebook that it made a 'business decision' to continue these malicious activities."

"Defendant operates a website accessible at http://power.com ('Power.com'), which offers to integrate multiple social networking accounts into a single experience on Defendant's Web site," the complaint states.

"Defendant has knowingly and willfully disregarded Facebook's protocols and procedures for accessing information stored on Facebook computers and is offering a product that solicits, stores, and uses Facebook login information to access information stored on Facebook computers without authorization and to display Facebook copyrighted material without permission. Defendant is also infringing upon Facebook's trademark by displaying and using the Facebook trademark without authorization in a manner that is likely to confuse consumers into wrongly believing that Power.com's services are affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by Facebook. In addition to these injurious activities, Defendant is also inducing Facebook users to provide it with email addresses of their Facebook contacts ('Friends') for the purpose of sending unsolicited commercial messages that purposefully and falsely state that they come from 'The Facebook Team.'

"Defendant has ignored Facebook's requests to respect its intellectual property rights, to cease its unauthorized access of Facebook's computer system and to stop interfering with its relationships with its users. In fact, Defendant essentially admits that its activities violate Facebook's rights, and it has informed Facebook that it made a 'business decision' to continue these malicious activities.

"Facebook, through this lawsuit, seeks to immediately stop Defendant from its continuing injurious actions, from which Facebook has suffered irreparable and incalculable harm, and which will continue unless Defendant is enjoined from further abuse of Facebook's trademarks and copyrighted material and unauthorized access to Facebook's protected computers."

Facebook demands an injunction and punitive damages for trademark violations, violations of the CAN-SPAM Act, computer fraud, copyright violations and unfair business practices. It is represented by David Chiapetta with Perkins Coie of Menlo Park.

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