Lawyers Run The World

Facebook Files TypoSquatting Lawsuit against Affiliate Marketers

If you didn’t notice, last week Facebook filed a lawsuit in federal court against several marketers for basically typo squatting. The lawsuit, found here claims that 25 different people were using similar domains to Facebook that were common typo errors. According to this report, over 48 million visitors a year are diverted away from Facebook.

In its law suit Facebook claims, “Defendants’ schemes also diminish the goodwill associated with Facebook and its marks, injure Facebook’s reputation, breach enforceable agreements between Defendants and Facebook, interfere with Facebook’s business, and unjustly enrich Defendants.

What is interesting about this case is that most of the people sued are involved with several major affiliate networks as affiliates, mainly running free gift card offers. What happened in these examples was that someone would type in something like and would be directed to a “social media survey” that would have the same look and colors as Facebook but then only are for a free gift card (email or zip submit.)

In one case, one of the people sued is actually the owner of one of the Email Freebie Offers, Consumer Reward Solutions owned by Elise Petri who has already been sued before for Trademark Infringement

Several of the people mentioned are “Super Affiliates” of several well known networks. Even right now, at the point of writing, some of the domains are still forwarding to GiftCard offers on several affiliate networks.

However, what is interesting is that some people have already pointed out that some of the typos are just common variants of Face and Book, and that Facebook might if it went to court, would have a hard time proving that Facebook itself is a legitimate trademark. So far, all lawsuits that Facebook has brought were settled out of court, never addressing the question if the common names Face and Book could be a defendable trademark.

Some of the people sued are: Cyber2Media, Inc., Daniel Negari, Cleanser Products, Counter Balance Enterprises Ltd., FB Promotions/Freebie Promos, Mackrooner Ltd. Inc., Newgate Services Ltd., Pioneer Enterprises Ltd., Rabbit Gogo Media LLC, SMTM Enterprises Ltd., YourTick, Zilt, Jacob Daniels, Jerry Hui, Ryan Johnson, Eric Jordan, Karrie-Lee Karreman, June Kimchi, Tim Meyers, Ankit Pandey, S. Pace, Elise Petri, Mark Risi, John Souza and Michael Suggs

Show More

Pace Lattin

Pace Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pace Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

Related Articles


  1. I actually think that it’s about time something like this happened. Maybe they start a precedent Typo squatters dont really add any value so I wouldnt be opposed to seeing them go.

  2. Facebook can’t have their cake and eat it too. FB lets everyone use their brand and doesn’t even defend it properly. No “Facebook is a registred trademark of Facebook, Inc” or (R) marks anywhere. They let you add widgets and promote their brand for free. “facebooking” as a term has commited genericide.

    Any TM attorneys want to chime in?

    1. Facebook owns it seems about a dozen trademarks on Facebook and variants for different reasons.

      The problem here is that while someone might be trying to fool a person by the type what if someone wanted to do a real business that had nothing to do with Facebook? Ie, they were a fan of Bok Choy or something, or their last name was Bok.

      This ranks up there with Apple suing people using the letter I.

    2. While IANAL and it’d be nice if Facebook indicated such explicitly on their web site, there is NO lawful requirement of their posting that on their web site. Go ahead and verify on your own if you wish, but don’t be surprised if what I say is true.

  3. Pure greed in this case .What facebook is worth 25 Billion and they are chasing after those who have typo facebook domain names ??? Again Pure Greed …. They should offer market value for the domain names they can afford it.

  4. It isn’t greed or Facebook’s attempt at world domination; it’s just good business sense. You and I would do the same in their situation.

    If someone sets up a site with a domain name very similar to another and it’s clear that they’re attempting to confuse people into thinking there’s an association, or if they’re trying to make money using another company’s trademark and hard-earned reputation, don’t they deserve to be sued?

    On the other hand, I suspect a site with the domain, for example, selling books online without claiming any associated with Facebook would not have any problems in court, and nor should they.

  5. Whether the company is a multi-billion dollar conglomerate or a local mom & pop, they have the right to protect their trademark. They’re motivation in protecting it is irrelevant, whether it is greed or any other reason.

    They bought and registered the trademark so they’re entitled to the same protection under trademark law that anybody else is. Just because some think they’re a big, greedy, evil company doesn’t mean they should be denied protection.

    The precedent in trademark law is pretty well established. The companies/people being sued by FB are not innocents trying to start a business. They’re intentionally profiting from the FB trademark.

    If the business has nothing to do with facebook, it’s still a matter of law. If exceptions are allowed or ignored, what’s the value of a trademark?

    Let me ask this – If you bought a trademark for your business and found you were losing business and your trademark was being abused, would you say, “That’s life, I’ll just offer market value to all the people profiting from my reputation, work and investment.” I doubt it.

    There’s a reason for trademark law and all who purchase a trademark are entitled to the same protection – whether they’re big or small.

    1. there no trademark on typos .. Useless you trademark each typo … Just as you cannot trademark a word that in the dictionary . Also there no damages to the company froma typo name. It not law but pure greed on facebook .The person who buy a typo domain names pays a price for that domain name within a legal purchase.If in fact typos were illegal then the registar of that name is also guilty of breaking the trademark law by selling or leasing the name.

      1. You can trademark a name in the dictionary for a specific reason. That’s why APPLE for Computer parts, phone, certain services is trademarked.

        However, you make a great point. If you are providing a service that has nothing to do with and let’s say you are FactBook, or and your service is completely different, how can you trademark.

        The problem is that a bunch of these marketers were sending to sites that had the same scheme and colors as and then telling the customers that they were part of “social media survey.”

  6. This is still happening and Facebook does need to take action.

    Take a look at this typo:

    It redirects to an email submit ran by an affiliate some of which are via your former employers network.

    You’re all in this shady orgy. Including your buddies, George, Alex, etc.

  7. I can assure you Mr. “Bunkus” I have never been involved with an orgy with George or Alex.

    That being said, to say that I am some how personally responsible for what and the Richter Clan does is ridiculous.

    How about instead of leaving comments over and over again without your name, you identify yourself. You obviously have a set of opinions that I’d love to hear.

  8. If FB wanted to defend their trademark, they wouldn’t allow it to be genericized. My point is that their TM is not defensible at this point. But I’m not a lawyer. Regardless of how scammy it is, have they genericized their mark? They let Toyota run million dollar ads with and require no attribution. Is “facebook” generic now because of failure to defend or “picking and choosing” where to defend?

  9. Well, I gotta say that people are entitled to use the typos as their domain, some even use the exact facebook name as subdomain and it looks really similar when the color scheme is identical. And I don’t know why so many people using this tactic with CPA offers, honestly I had worked on CPA offer before and failed miserably. Guess that is why I hate CPA and people that use this method I detested so much. Sorry if you are one of those CPA people.

  10. There should have been a law in place from domain sellers to restrict this in the 1st place. FB f#cked up not recognizing this would happen – Sour grapes.

  11. Curious if the defendants in this suit owned the domains or merely bid on them through networks which specialize in domaining traffic.. And said networks aren’t named or included because They’re outside the USA

    1. It’s a mix, there’s affiliates that were ‘merely’ bidding on the traffic, there are domain owners in that list (by the way the ‘john doe’ in that list listed as is a company called PPX based out of Hong Kong, they are probably the biggest player and own thousands of typo domains. There are also as the article indicated the owners of the emai/zip submits. Indeed, the companys that broker the traffic between domainers and affiliates as well as the CPA networks that sit between the affiliate and the email/zip submit seem to have dodged the bullet.

      The reason FB has a case is because the visitor is duped into thinking they are actually on FB or that it’s otherwise endorsed by FB and we all know how dumb a lot of people on the internet are. That being said, if they are duped into mobile subscription offers and email/zip submits only to get spammed and in some cases straight up defrauded of credit card info (this is a minority though), it looks really bad on facebook.

      Sure you can blame people’s idiocy but having been a small-time affiliate bidding on typo traffic and sending it to facebook-look-a-like surveys, it is pretty deceptive

  12. It is legal to bid on traffic regarding a specific trademark according to a US Appeal Court Ruling this past year. However, it is not legal to create confusion in consumer minds. In some cases, there has been criminal investigations into these schemes.

  13. people need to be honest and put in that work when it comes to making money online because there’s more than enough money to for everyone to be earned.

What's your opinion?

%d bloggers like this: