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What if Facebook Removes My Business' Page?

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By James Norwood on March 07, 2011 5:53 AM

So you've got a Facebook page for your business. You have some likes, some friends. What happens if another business comes along and demands Facebook take down your business page?

One recourse may be to sue Facebook. Just ask a New York spa named Complexions.

A California spa also named Complexions discovered the New York spa's page; and sent a "take down notice" to Facebook.

Initially, the California Complexion's owner complained that the New York spa's page violated their copyright. Facebook took the New York spa's page down.

Generally speaking, copyrights protect your work from being copied. Items such as books, music and movie recordings usually have copyright protection.

Trademarks, meanwhile, are words and phrases that a business uses for business reasons to prevent others from selling a similar product under the same name.

The New York Complexions spa filed a civil complaint seeking: (1) a declaratory judgment that it has trademark rights to its name use as a junior trademark user and (2) an injunctive relief to restore its business page back to Facebook.

However, according to Santa Clara Law Professor Eric Goldman, the injunctive relieve to restore the business page back to Facebook may fail. Goldman says that Facebook has full editorial discretion to not publish a webpage even if it is not imposing on anybody's trademark. 

If by chance another business comes after your Facebook page, you might first want to pursue a declaratory judgment that your business does not infringe on any other trademark. Then, with that in hand, try to convince Facebook they will not be in violation of any laws by putting your page back up.

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