Facebook Trademarks “Face” Word

November 26th, 2010 at 10:21 am

Will wonders never cease. Top social networking site Facebook seems to be using its gargantuan influence in the online world in order to protect its own creation. According to TechCrunch, Facebook has recently been granted the rights to trademark the word “Face” by the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office. Quite a common word but yes, Facebook might be on the verge of having the rights to how the word is used as they deem necessary and thankfully, only on a limited basis.

That goes to show that making name for yourself or becoming quite a popular attraction in the online world can give you that authority to solely to make use of certain words pertaining to a certain term your creation pertains to. In short, it may be possible for you to trademark a name you have created if it becomes wildly popular. It makes sense if you seek the rights for the “full” name as trademark. But trying to seek the rights for the use of only half of that name may be another thing.

In the case of Facebook, the social networking site certainly is popular and it is quite normal that they seek the rights to trademark the term “Facebook” as solely their own. It aims to protect their product from being used illegitimately by other businesses or companies that may be in conflict with their own. But trying to trademark only part of that term (as in the word “Face”) may be another matter that may be up for some serious debate.

By applying for a trademark on the word “Face”, the wildly popular social networking site may secure the rights for its use, albeit on limited grounds. According to documents at the USPTO, the rights of use for the term “Face” covers,

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“.

Even with this limitation, it still may not be quite understandable why the US Patent Office may allow Facebook to trademark only a part of its name. Will it pave the way for other companies to also apply for trademarks for a part of their brand name? Will it lead to companies gaining some form of ownership into terms partly attributed or associated to them but may already have been in existence long before their businesses did? Whether or not it leads to something else, this does provide some concerns for people who are looking closely into it and what it may result to in the coming days.


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