April 16, News.com.au

FACEBOOK founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is caught up in a fresh legal dispute with a former college friend.

Aaron Greenspan has filed a petition with the US Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the social networking website's legal entitlements to its name.

Mr Greenspan, 25, claims his ex-classmate Mr Zuckerberg, 23, shouldn't have been able to trademark the name "Facebook" in 2005 as it had been used generically at Harvard for decades.

The term "face book" was used to describe any paper or electronic tool that displayed the faces of students and faculty, Mr Greenspan said.

He added that he used the name "Face Book" for his own project, houseSYSTEM, in September 2003. Four months later, Mr Zuckerberg launched thefacebook.com.

Mr Greenspan claims he has email evidence to show Mr Zuckerberg knew about the houseSYSTEM "face book" feature and even considered merging it into his own growing network.

Facebook now has over 70 million users worldwide and has been valued at up to $US15 billion ($16.27 billion).

Mr Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in the world and the youngest self-made billionaire in history, according to Forbes magazine.

Read more this news quote

image from Facebook's website