A company totally unrelated to the social networking site has trademarked the Facebook name to sell condoms, soccer cleats, and more, according to the LA Times.
American companies call this “trademark squatting,” but Chinese law favors those who are first to register names with the Chinese government (similar to those in the US who register web domains under the names of celebrities and big corporations, hoping to sell it back for big bucks).
So, in China, you will find Lady Gaga sausage casings, J. Crew PA systems, and Angry Birds snack food.
Yao Ming maxi pads? Not any more. The retired NBA star successfully sued to block the use of his name on those.
The man who trademarked Eminem claims to never have heard of the rapper.
“If this Eminem turns out to be a famous singer, we’re willing to cooperate as a potential partner to release this brand [of whiskey and vodka] in China,” he told the LA Times. “We’re also open to selling it.”
A Chinese electronics company owns the name iPad. If Apple wants it, the selling price is $1.6 billion.