StudiVZ, the Facebook clone (and by clone, we mean exact duplicate) in Germany, says in an email that they still havn’t received the lawsuit complaint filed by Facebook on Friday. The lawsuit claims intellectual property infringement and accuses StudiVZ of running a “knock-off” of Facebook.
StudiVZ says they “cannot comment in detail” about the lawsuit since they haven’t seen it yet. But that isn’t stopping them from talking smack about Facebook in general. StudiVZ says they’ve filed for a declaratory judgment in the District Court in Stuttgart, Germany to “to have the responsible German court declare that the claims made by Facebook are without merit,” whatever they may be.
Marcus Riecke, the CEO of StudiVZ, goes on to call Facebook arrogant and says they are trying to create an international monopoly over social networking:
Now that Facebook, despite trying hard, has not been successful in the German market, the company seeks to obstruct studiVZ through court action. Their strategy appears to be: If you can’t beat them, sue them. There are numerous social networks. Facebook was not the first and certainly isn’t the only one. By attempting to harm studiVZ through a meritless California lawsuit, Facebook is arrogantly laying claim to an international monopoly over social networking sites that the facts show it does not deserve.
These comments would be credible if StudiVZ wasn’t such a direct ripoff of Facebook’s look and feel (see screen shot). Early versions of the StudiVZ site reportedly “borrowed” Facebook’s CSS files as well.
Perhaps StudiVZ could save themselves the legal bills and just hire a designer to come up with a unique profile and interface instead of posturing and filing counter suits in Germany.