Israeli Entrepreneur Changes Name to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Dislikes This

Israeli Entrepreneur Changes Name to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Dislikes This

In response to threats of legal action from Facebook, an Israeli entrepreneur has legally changed his name to Mark Zuckerberg.

Rotem Guez officially changed his name to Mark Zuckerberg as of December 7, 2011. His decision was prompted by threats of legal action from Facebook against Guez’s website, Likestore. Likestore claims to boost website traffic by allowing users to increase their Facebook page “likes”. Likestore is a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Use and Facebook proceeded to shut down a Facebook page created by Guez to promote his business. Last September, Facebook also sent Guez a cease and desist letter, threatening to sue if Guez did not stop his activities with Likestore.

Guez retaliated by changing his name and on December 14, 2011, Facebook again threatened to sue, unknowingly targeting someone with the same name as Facebook’s founder. It seems that Guez hopes that Facebook will not want to sue someone named Marc Zuckerberg. Further, Guez/Zuckerberg is planning on creating a stir and has already started both Twitter and Facebook accounts under the name Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook has taken pains to protect its trademark and Zuckerberg’s name has become almost synonymous with Facebook itself. The tort of passing off involves consumer confusion when a trademark is used by someone not associated with the original source. The misrepresentation may also harm the reputation of the original trademark owner. Perhaps Mark Zuckerberg The Second should consider returning to Rotem Guez. Facebook is known for launching lawsuits against potential competitors and likely will not hesitate to continue targeting Guez and Likestore.


Nora Sleeth is a JD candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School.