Insights
Firm News

Ferrari and Facebook Sued Over Enormously Popular Facebook Fan Pages

October 16, 2014 Announcement

Cutting-Edge Case Tests the Value of Two Facebook Pages

San Francisco (October 15, 2014): Farella Braun + Martel LLP has filed a lawsuit against Facebook, Inc. and luxury carmaker Ferrari S.p.A. on behalf of Olivier and Sammy Wasem, a father-son team that spent years and thousands of hours building two Facebook pages for Ferrari enthusiasts. The two pages were enormously popular and attracted more than 19 million fans when Ferrari, acting with Facebook’s help, kicked the Wasems off the pages and took control of them for itself.

The complaint, filed on October 14 in San Mateo Superior Court, alleges that Ferrari attempted to create a Facebook fan page on its own, but when its page failed to generate a substantial number of fans, it agreed to manage the two pages created by the Wasems together as partners. After years of working together, Ferrari and Facebook removed the Wasems as “administrators” of the pages, effectively taking from them any ability to control or manage the pages that they had created.

Industry experts have estimated that the value of a single Facebook fan ranges from $174 to over $1,000, and the pages the Wasems created have over 19 million fans together. The case, Olivier Wasem & Sammy Wasem v. Facebook, Inc. & Ferrari S.p.A., Case No. CIV-530869, seeks monetary damages for the Wasems and a declaration of their rights as owners of the two pages.  (Link to Complaint)

“This is a cutting-edge case about the value and ownership rights over Facebook pages, but it’s an old story,” said Farella lead attorney James Morando. “Ferrari saw that what the Wasems created was valuable. Ferrari wanted it. And so, with Facebook’s help, Ferrari took what didn’t belong to it. The Wasems brought this suit to protect their rights and to force Ferrari to pay them for their efforts.”

The Farella lawyers representing Olivier and Sammy Wasem are IP Litigation Partner James W. Morando, Business Litigation Partner Karen P. Kimmey, and IP Litigation Associate Alex Reese.

Farella Braun + Martel represents clients throughout the United States and abroad in sophisticated business transactions and complex commercial, civil and criminal litigation. Farella lawyers are known for their imaginative legal solutions, dynamism and intellectual creativity. With an unwavering service ethic and interdisciplinary team approach, the firm is committed to advancing clients' objectives in the most effective, coordinated and efficient manner. Founded in 1962, Farella is headquartered in San Francisco and maintains an office in the Napa Valley focused on the wine industry. www.fbm.com


Contact:
Cheryl Loof
Farella Braun + Martel
415.954.4433
[email protected]

Firm Highlights

News

Farella Represents Far Niente Winery in its Acquisition of Provenance Vineyards

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel represented Napa Valley luxury wine producer Far Niente Family of Wineries & Vineyards in its acquisition of the Provenance Vineyards real estate in Rutherford, Calif. from Treasury...

Read More
Publication

Turmoil in the SPAC Market: What Private Tech Companies Should Consider Before Going Public Via a SPAC

In the spring of 2021, one of the hottest markets—the market for special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs - has “screeched to a halt,” according to CNN . As the SPAC market grew red...

Read More
News

Farella Braun + Martel Announces Five New Partners

Read More
News

Farella Represents Catalyze in Its Acquisition of Sol Alliance

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel represented Colorado-based independent power producer Catalyze  in its acquisition of Sol Alliance , a leading Northeastern commercial-scale solar developer, as part of the company's plan to expand...

Read More
Publication

Mitigating the Uncertainty of Smoke Taint in Wine Grapes

Smoke taint has dominated the worries of the California wine industry recent years. With unsettled climate conditions and continued droughts, there is no reason to think that smoke taint will not continue to be...

Read More
News

Farella Braun + Martel Represents ACE Cider in its Sale to Vintage Wine Estates

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel represented ACE Cider , The California Cider Company, the top independently owned hard cider brand in the U.S., in its sale to Vintage Wine Estates, Inc...

Read More
News

Swinerton Completes Sale of Renewable Energy Division and SOLV, Inc.

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel represented Swinerton Incorporated in the disposition of its renewable energy division Swinerton Renewable Energy (SRE) and wholly-owned subsidiary SOLV, Inc. to private equity firm American Securities...

Read More
News

Farella Represents Next Green Wave in Agreement to Sell to Planet 13

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel acted as U.S. counsel in representing California seed-to-shelf cannabis producer  Next Green Wave Holdings (NGW) in its definitive arrangement agreement to be sold to Nevada-based cannabis...

Read More
Publication

What to Know About Taking a Data Center Company Public Through a SPAC

A recent IPO by InterPrivate IV Infratech Partners, a digital infrastructure-focused special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, raised $250 million. Its impressive fundraising and management team, led by former CyrusOne CTO Kevin Timmons, may cause privately...

Read More
News

Farella Braun + Martel Earns 2022 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" Rankings

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel earned national and regional rankings across several practice areas in the 2022 edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers ® "Best Law Firms." The U.S. News...

Read More