Maybe I was being naïve, but I thought I could convince the lawyers at Facebook that our site was totally impossible to confuse with theirs, that our market was different, that our use of the name was distinctive and completely appropriate, and that someone reasonable there would say: “You’re right, sorry we over-reacted…” and we could keep using our name. I thought that since I had good friends who were friends with these attorneys that we’d all just be a bunch of well-meaning buddies talking about how to get ourselves to a place of comfort.
This did not happen.
They were certainly nice enough. But they were politely intractable. The term they used was “non-starter” and they didn’t even want to meet with me unless I agreed to change the domain for the website and not bring that point up again; they weren’t going to talk to me about whether we could keep the name, but only the details of the transition. In otherwords, I was going to surrender, the only point of conversation was the terms of the surrender.
I didn’t really surrender. But I did decide not to fight. On the lighter side: some of my friends never liked the name. Fine. We will come up with something better…