Monday, February 21, 2011

Can You Name Yourself "Facebook?"

In commemoration of the role that the social networking site played in the recent upheaval in Egypt, a man has named his newborn baby girl “Facebook.”   According to a translation by TechCrunch.com, the following announcement appeared in Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram:


A New Day
Man Names His Newborn Girl Facebook
A young man in his twenties wanted to express his gratitude about the victories the youth of 25th of January have achieved and chose to express it in the form of naming his firstborn girl “Facebook” Jamal Ibrahim(his name.) The girl’s family, friends, and neighbors in the Ibrahimya region gathered around the new born to express their continuing support for the revolution that started on Facebook. “Facebook” received many gifts from the youth who were overjoyed by her arrival and the new name. A name [Facebook] that shocked the entire world.
Naming your child “Facebook” at birth in Egypt is one thing.  But could you legally change your name (or your child’s name) to “Facebook?”


In Florida, the answer is that you probably could not.
Name changes are governed by section 68.07, Florida Statutes.  According to this law, a court should not grant a request for a name change if the new name will “in any manner invade the property rights of others, whether partnership, patent, good will, privacy, trademark, or otherwise.”
As Facebook has intellectual property rights on its name, a Florida court would likely consider the granting of a name change to “Facebook” as an invasion of those rights.  For the same reason, a Court is unlikely to change a petitioner’s legal name to “Publix” or “Coca-Cola.”
If you want to know whether you are eligible for a change of name, feel free to contact The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., to set up a consultation.

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Adam B. Cordover is a Florida family law attorney and managing shareholder of The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A. To learn more about The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A. or to schedule a consultation, call us at 813.443.0615 or visit us online at www.abcfamilylaw.com.

Attorney Adam B. Cordover is admitted to the Florida Bar and the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. His office is located at 412 East Madison Street, Suite 824, Tampa, Florida 33602.

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