Facebook Sues Chinese Companies Over Trademark Infringement And Cybersquatting

March 4, 2019, 6:19 PM UTC

Facebook has sued four Chinese companies, alleging the companies sold fake Facebook and Instagram accounts.

The complaint, filed on March 1 in U.S. federal court argues that the companies managed multiple websites promoting the sale of fake accounts since 2017. Three individuals and four companies are named in the lawsuit, including 9 Xiu Network (Shenzhen) Science and Technology Company, 9 Xiu Feishu Science and Technology Company, 9 Xiufei Book Technology Co., and Home Network (Fujian) Technology Co.

Facebook seeks to ban the companies from engaging in cybersquatting, which is defined under U.S. federal law as the practice of registering, using, or selling a domain name with the intent to profit from a trademark belonging to someone else.

In this case, Facebook alleges the companies used its trademarks, using with web addresses like “myfacebook.cc,” “facebook88.net,” and “infacebook.cc.”

Facebook’s Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Litigation Paul Grewal said in the company’s announcement Friday that Chinese companies not only promoted the sale of fake Facebook and Instagram accounts but also Amazon, Apple, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter.

“Inauthentic activity has no place on our platform,” Grewal wrote. “That’s why we devote significant resources to detecting and stopping this behavior, including disabling millions of fake accounts every day.”

The social networking company is asking the court to award Facebook all profits made from the accounts, and an additional $100,000 for each instance of trademark infringement, The Verge reports.