A Bhopal court has asked Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to appear before it after a businessman claimed that the company had sent him a legal notice over the name of his start-up, The Times of India reported on Friday. The businessman has alleged that the social media company is harassing him and causing him stress.
The order issued by Additional Sessions Judge Parth Shankar Mishra asked for summons to be sent to Zuckerberg by email, asking him to appear before the court on June 20, according to NDTV.
Swapnil Rai, who runs a business networking platform called thetradebook.org, had filed a civil suit, claiming that Facebook stopped his advertisement campaign to promote his website’s page and issued him a legal notice. He said he began a seven-day advertisement campaign on Facebook on April 14, but the platform terminated it on April 16 after charging him Rs 215 for the three days.
Rai told The Times of India that Facebook wanted him to remove the word “book” from the name of his website, and the legal notices it had sent had cause him “immense mental stress”.
A Noida-based law firm representing Facebook had first issued Rai a notice in 2016, saying no company had the right to use a similar name for its goods or services. “Our client [Facebook] was the first to use and popularise the term ‘book’ in connection with social networking services,” the legal notice said. “By virtue of its extensive, continued and popular use, our client owns exclusive rights to the trademark Facebook.”