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Facebook, Teachbook reach settlement in lawsuit

Teachbook will become TeachQuest under terms of a legal settlement.

Facebook and Teachbook, a social networking site for teachers, have settled a lawsuit that began two years ago when Facebook alleged trademark infringement against the ed-tech company.

Under terms of the agreement, Teachbook has changed its name to TeachQuest and will continue to operate as an online platform dedicated to being a one-stop planning and learning tool for educators, administrators, and students.

A joint statement from the companies read: “We are pleased to announce that Facebook and Teachbook have arrived at an agreement that resolves Facebook’s trademark infringement lawsuit and allows for Teachbook’s continued operation under a new name. Under this agreement, Teachbook has changed its name to ‘TeachQuest.’  Facebook and Teachbook are pleased to put this dispute behind them.”

On Aug. 25, 2010, Facebook filed a lawsuit against Teachbook, claiming that the social networking site for teachers should not use the “-book” suffix, adding that the suffix is what distinguishes Facebook and alleging that Teachbook marketed itself as a “Facebook for teachers.”

“Misappropriating the distinctive ‘book’ portion of Facebook’s trademark, [Teachbook] has created its own competing online networking community in a blatant attempt to become Facebook ‘for teachers,'” the complaint said.

TeachQuest offers free and fee-based tools to help users create and share lesson plans, instructional videos, and other teaching resources. Educators can link their plans to the Common Core standards and can integrate lessons with national standards databases in all 50 states. Teachers can view lessons by day, week, or month, and can edit and adjust plans for missed days, late starts, and early dismissals.

The fee-based tools are part of Planbook, a tool that TeachQuest President Greg Shrader says “streamlines the manner principals and teachers share lesson plans, saving them time and money.”

In addition to offering lesson plan sharing and teacher-administrator communication, the site still will operate a professional community for educators. Through that community, educators can:

  • Create “affinity circles” for users in individual schools, districts, or in wider communities.
  • Read and post education-related blogs.
  • Maintain calendars for class, school, district, and/or professional groups.
  • Post and search instructional videos and other teaching resources.
  • Create and manage online courses and instructional modules.
  • Have access to online group facilitation.

TeachQuest announced the settlement on Twitter, while also promoting new website features. For instance, users can log onto TeachQuest with their Facebook accounts.

Facebook did not immediately return an eSchool News reporter’s request for comment.

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