I first heard of Aaron Greenspan back in December 2007 when he emailed me asking for clarification a few statements related to an 02138 Magazine article that I had covered at the end of November of that same year. Little did I know that Greenspan was in the midst of preparing to launch his own book, Authoritas, which was later sent to me in April. At that point in time Greenspan attempted to begin promoting his book on Google, only to be prevented from doing so.
Around the time of his book launch, Aaron Greenspan filed a petition to cancel the trademark for the name “Facebook” since he was essentially the originator of the name. At the time I wasn’t sure if it was simply buzz that was being used to sell more copies of his book or a legitimate attempt at revoking Facebook’s trademark. It took six more months but by October of 2008 Aaron Greenspan was on the war path and the board who had reviewed the argument presented the following statement: “Upon reviewing the amended pleading, the Board finds that petitioner has sufficiently, albeit minimally, pled a claim of fraud in the procurement of the registration.”
A little over six months later it appears as though Facebook has conceded, announcing that they have “settled all outstanding claims, including all of Think’s claims related to Facebook’s registered trademarks.” When I exchanged emails with Aaron last April he used a fair amount of legalese during our dialog making it clear that he was taking the issue seriously. What’s most interesting about this entire drama is that Mark Zuckerberg’s early history with Facebook has been played out within the court system.
Very few of the largest technology corporations that exist today experienced such a dramatic beginning. Most of the companies though were built in college dorm rooms or parents’ garages, something Facebook still holds in common. One thing that Greenspan still doesn’t have the ability to do is promote his book on Google via the keyword “Facebook” as far as I can tell. Ultimately nobody can advertise under that keyword.
This has most definitely been an exciting ride so far for the world largest social platform and it appears as though things will only get more exciting as rumors swirl about an impending investment of up to $350 million at a $10 billion valuation, and Facebook prepares to launch a credits system for developers. The story of Facebook continues to be played out over 5 years in and according to Mark Zuckerberg there are still years before an eventual IPO. Now that Facebook has settled all law suits pertaining to its early years, the company can move forward with dreams of digital world domination.