FacebookOfSex Is Taken Offline

Apr 29, 2011 10:30 AM PST

BOCA RATON, Fla. — FacebookOfSex.com, which recently was subject of a civil lawsuit brought on by social network giant Facebook, has been taken offline.

The site, owned by FriendFinder Networks Inc., now includes a page containing a message that reads, "This website is no longer in use. If you are an existing member, you may log-in here." Log-in windows are located below the message.

Two weeks ago, FriendFinder and its subsidiaries were hit with an infringement claim by Facebook, which says the name of its site, FacebookOfSex.com is too similar to its own trademarked name.

Facebook said in the suit filed at U.S. District Court in San Francisco that FacebookOfSex.com " is a blatant attempt ... to hijack Facebook's fame for illicit financial gain."

But FriendFinder, as discussed in the original complaint, said that it had problems with Facebook's use of the term "friend finder," which it also has trademarks for.

"[FriendFinder and its subsidiaries, including Traffic Cat and Various Inc.] have tried to use the purported 'FriendFinder' mark as leverage in negotiations, asserting that Facebook must address [FriendFinder's] concerns before they will address Facebook's trademark claims," Facebook attorneys say.

"Facebook's use of 'friend finder; amounts to descriptive fair use and does not infringe Various' purported trademark rights in the 'FriendFinder' term."

Facebook in the suit claims that FacebookOfSex.com provides nearly identical user services as its social network.

"But unlike Facebook, defendants permit and indeed encourage the display and posting of pornographic content," Facebook attorneys say. "Upon accessing the FacebookOfSex.com site, a visitor immediately encounters highly graphic and sexually explicit images and videos."

The suit, which includes trademark dilution and cybersquatting claims among 11 claims,  seeks injunctive relief, revenue from the site and actual and punitive damages.

Facebook also wants the court to declare its rights in connection with its use of the words "friend finder," or deem those words have not  "acquired secondary meaning in the marketplace."

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