Is a juice bar in Wales the secret to Facebook’s profitability?
Not exactly, but a cheeky knock-off in central Cardiff is raising eyebrows from visitors and from Facebook itself. Appropriately named Facefood, the unaffiliated café uses the social networking site’s blue hue, font, and icons.
Despite the cafe being a clear imitation of Facebook’s design aspects and intellectual property, Facefood’s owner, Samir Bougaci, said he doesn’t fear of closure by the influential company.
“Facefood and Facebook are different,” insisted Bougaci to a Cardiff newspaper. “Our cafe has nothing to do with Facebook.”
Bougaci, an Algerian native who now resides in Wales, said he discussed the similarities with his partner and noted that several other cafés also use the name. A search for Facefood on Facebook revealed locations in Syria, Egypt, Nepal, and Germany.
"It's different from Facebook, it's different words," reasoned Bougaci, adding that he doesn’t think Facebook will care.
Bougaci said Facebook hasn’t yet contacted the store, but the social networking site is aware of it. A site spokesperson told BBC Wales that they are looking into it. The Daily Dot has also reached out for comment from Facebook.
Anastasia Fowle, an intellectual property lawyer, told BBC Radio that there are many options available to Facebook to have the café shuttered, since it not only violates a trademark, but is relying on an unauthorized usage of the site’s branding for profit.
“They can make it take them down, absolutely,” said Fowle, adding that there are several U.K. trademark regulations, like the “passing off” law that enforces rights for trademark owners even when the marks haven’t been registered.
But all this poking at Facefood has been good for business since Facefood opened Monday.
"Lots of people have been interested and they have been coming in and taking pictures,” said Bougaci, and insisted that sales were doing “OK.”
Photo via Claudio Zuzzi/Pinterest