When was the last time you sent a friend request on Facebook? When was the last time you got sued for it? Complexions v Complexions Day Spa & Facebook, is, according to Santa Clara Internet Law professor Eric Goldman, the first case to involve Facebook ‘friend poaching‘.
The case is currently in front of the New York Northern District Court, and involves two spas doing business under similar trade names, and Facebook. The plaintiff spa notified Facebook of a trademark infringement, which prompted Facebook to remove the page. For this action, the plaintiff is seeking damages in lost sales and marketing potential.
The plaintiff is further claiming that the defendant spa knowingly ‘friended’ it’s customers to the defendant spa’s own Facebook page, creating an unfair advantage for the defendant spa. For this, the plaintiff is seeking injunctive relief and monetary damages.
The case is yet to be decided, and according to Goldman, it’s likely to be the first of many such cases. Among the keen to see how this case unfolds is American University blogger, Dana Nicoletti, who notes that “it will be extremely interesting to see how the Northern District of New York treats these contentions, and how other businesses react to a decision.” Whatever the decision, businesses will have to think twice the next time they so much as log onto Facebook.