Did “Our” Merck “Car-Jack” The German Merck’s Facebook Portal?

Dueling Facebook rights — it would seem — between two often-confused drugmakers, one German, one in Whitehouse Station, per Ed’s fine, insightful reporting at Pharmalot this morning. Do go read it all, but here is a bit:

. . . .Merck KGgA, the drugmaker based in Germany, has filed a lawsuit in hopes of forcing Facebook to explain how its page on the wildly popular social network was apparently misappropriated by that other Merck – the drugmaker based in the US. Somehow, you see, its Facebook page was replaced by its rival’s images and information.

. . .[E]ach drugmaker owns exclusive rights to the Merck trademark in different geographical areas. . . [so] a little confusion. . . [may] occur. . . .

[A]n attorney for Merck KGgA notes in the lawsuit that the drugmaker supposedly entered into an agreement with Facebook in March 2010 for the exclusive use of a web page with this address – http://www.facebook.com/merck – and administrative rights were assigned to just a few people, including Merck KGgA employees or an Internet service provider.

But last month, the [German] drugmaker checked its Facebook account and found that it no longer had administrative rights to the page and the page had content that appeared to be created by, and is related to, the other Merck, according to the lawsuit. . . .

We will keep an eye on this lawsuit, too — but it puzzles me that two of the largest commercial entities on the globe haven’t done more, over the decades, to separate the naming/trade dressings from each other. That is hard to understand — even though we all know the history, here.

And, in any event, a happy and safe Thanksgiving to one and all — whereever your travels take you. Namaste!


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