Facebook, the largest social media website in the world may just file a lawsuit against a small hair salon in Dubai. The online social media company believe s that the salon is infringing upon Facebook’s property rights in respect to its logo. The hair salon’s logo bears a striking resemblance to that of Facebook. For instance, the size and shape of the letters on the logo are remarkably similar to those of Facebook. Furthermore, the letters are in white while the background is blue. Even the name of the hair salon is similar to that of Facebook. Facelook is the name of the salon in question.
The hair salon’s owner contests these similarities and calls them a mere coincidence. He takes note of the fact that he was able to register the name, brand and logo of his company at the relevant UAE public office with no issues raised. The owner believes that his company is not in breach of any UAE law.
Intellectual property is a serious issue in international law. Companies go out of their way to protect their brands, logos and company names under both local and international laws. Intellectual property rights give creators of companies’ exclusive rights over their creations including but not limited to their company names and brands. Facebook’s executives are seriously considering legal action against this family run business. In the meantime, the hair salon owner states that the colour and font of his logo is different from that of Facebook. He asserts that any similarities are only due to a naked eye viewing of his salon’s logo.
It will be interesting to see how a multibillion-dollar giant like Facebook will decide to deal with a small men’s salon. It will also be interesting to see how international property rights laws will play up against the individual rights of citizens operating within the dictates of their own national laws.