Facebook Granted Permission to Trademark 'Face'
Article by George Norman
On 29 Nov 2010
Incredibly popular social networking site Facebook has finally gotten its wish and can trademark the word “face”. People keeping track of such things will remember that Facebook’s efforts to trademark the word “face” date back to 2008. That’s when Facebook bought the trademark application of Faceparty.com, a UK social network owned by CIS Internet Limited, company that applied for a trademark of “face” in 2005.

Since then the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been mulling things over. Last week the USPTO has come up with a decision – it sent Facebook a Notice of Allowance and thus gave Facebook the thumbs up to trademark the word “face”.

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The USPTO explained that after examining Facebook’s request, it concluded that because the word “face” applies to the name “Facebook”, the social networking site is entitled to trademark the word. This is certainly good news for Facebook, who has been trying hard to deter other sites and companies from piggybacking on its popularity.

What’s next for Facebook, as far as trademarking the word “face”? Not much to be completely honest. Facebook needs only file a Statement of Use that says it will use the trademark in commerce, pay a fee, and the word “face” will officially belong to it. Facebook’s lawyers don’t even need to hurry as they have six months to file the aforementioned Statement of Use.

It must be said that Facebook’s trademark on the word “face” will be limited though. As explained by the USPTO, the trademark extends to “telecommunication services, namely, providing online chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among computer users in the field of general interest and concerning social and entertainment subject matter, none primarily featuring or relating to motoring or to cars.” This means you will be getting a phone call from Facebook’s lawyers only if you plan to call your social networking site something that includes the word “face”.



Tags: Facebook, USPTO, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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