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A former classmate of social networking bitch-in-chief Mark Zuckerberg is bidding to strip Facebook of its trademark, alleging Zuck had no right to claim ownership of the term in 2005.

Aaron Greenspan's petition, filed on Tuesday to the US Patent and Trademark Office, is the latest legal salvo in a battle over his book on the early days of Facebook, Authoritas: One student's Harvard admissions and the founding of the Facebook era.

The quibble is less about ownership of the trademark and more a reply to the imaginary billionaire's legal SWAT team. They have been putting the frighteners on Greenspan's memoir, in what he alleges is an attempt to suppress its contents.

Greenspan, a member of Harvard's Student Entrepreneurship Council during college, has written that he didn't try to trademark a "face book" name himself because it had been in generic circulation for so long. US college types have been using the term to mean a book with, er, faces in it for decades.

Greenspan's book claims Zuckerberg copied his idea to adapt the face book as part of a social networking site after his effort, houseSYSTEM, introduced a feature called "The Universal Face Book" in summer 2003.

Zuckerberg's imaginary-$15bn business thefacebook.com opened in February 2004.

Greenspan's book contains allegations of how Zuckerberg allegedly magpied features from houseSYSTEM. One excerpt reads: "I noticed him [Zuckerberg] spending a lot of time on houseSYSTEM and browsing the Universal Face Book in particular. I could just tell by watching the server logs fly by on my screen."

It's not the first time Mark "I just want to help bitches communicate" Zuckerberg has been accused of ripping off ideas and betraying friends. A suit filed by the founders of ConnectU, another Harvard social network, alleged he stole code.

That case has now reportedly been made to go away by Facebook for an undisclosed sum. ®

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