Facebook Gets Closer to a Trademark on the Word ‘Face’

Facebook moved one step closer to securing a trademark on the word “Face” when it’s used with online chat rooms or bulletin boards, after receiving a notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today.

After this, the company has six months to file a statement of use and pay a fee. An examining attorney can either approve the statement, file a refusal or ask for additional requirements. If it’s approved, then the patent and trademark office will usually issue a registration within two months.

Facebook first filed for this trademark almost five years ago in December of 2005. That was when it had only raised its first venture round of investment from Accel Partners and was still a college social networking site.

The trademark would cover the word “face” when it pertains 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.

If Facebook is awarded a trademark on the word “face”, it shouldn’t interfere with Apple’s mobile video calling service Facetime, since the Cupertino-based device maker has a trademark on that term itself.

Facebook has also tried to trademark other words. It has at least 15 trademark applications around the “like” buttons it launched in April, some of which cover the word “like” itself.

The social network tends to be more aggressive with its trademarks than its patents, which it has implied it acquires mostly for defensive purposes. The company is currently embroiled in a dispute with parody site Lamebook, which takes user-generated screenshots of off-color interactions on the social network. It also sued social network aggregator Power.com for trademark infringement last year.

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18 Responses to “Facebook Gets Closer to a Trademark on the Word ‘Face’”

  1. Facebook Could Soon Own the Trademark for the Word “Face” says:

    [...] to protect the use of the word “book” pertaining to an online networking service.[via Inside Facebook]For more Social Media coverage:Follow Mashable Social MediaSubscribe to the Social Media [...]

  2. Florian Rohrweck says:

    The day this happens, I will delete my facebook account. This is absurd.

  3. Darrin Searancke says:

    This sounds like a job for the A-Team … Face would have issues with this!

  4. Facebook To Own Trademark For The Word "Face" Soon | GizmoCrazed says:

    [...] via Inside Facebook [...]

  5. Facebook To Trademark “Face” - Techland - TIME.com says:

    [...] (Think: chat rooms, bulletins, feeds), could be in effect within six months. According to Inside Facebook, the company received notice from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today that their trademark [...]

  6. Facebook Gets Aggressive with Trademarks says:

    [...] have to change your lingo to “Get out of my countenance” any time soon. According to Inside Facebook, the trademark application only applies when the word “face” is used in specific [...]

  7. Facebook a punto de obtener la palabra “face” como marca registrada | TreceBits says:

    [...] La marca que conseguiría Facebook sólo serviría para servicios sociales, chats, programas de mensajería… según establece la oficina de marcas. Sin embargo, el estamento que lo cita es ambiguo y puede incluir una amplia gama de servicios, tal y como indica Inside Facebook. [...]

  8. Howie at Sky Pulse Media says:

    In 5 years when Facebook is like Myspace and Friendster the trademark might be worth more than the company!

  9. Facebook podría ser pronto la dueña de la palabra Face - Que 2.0 says:

    [...] Vía | Inside Facebook [...]

  10. Rosa says:

    Ridiculous, the application should be thrown out since it is a generic term.

  11. John says:

    Only in America!

  12. Lisa Merriam says:

    Relax everyone! There are over 15 other trademarks for the word “Face” owned by other companies. No one screamed when Honda trademarked “Face” back in 2005. Do you know that Facebook also owns the letter “F”? http://bit.ly/gn1YJa

  13. Himanshu says:

    Apple has also its trademark word face for its telecom service called facetime
    i had also written similar article have a look

  14. What’s been happening this week in Social Media? | Thrive Social Media says:

    [...] Facebook Might Soon Own Trademark for Word “Face”: [...]

  15. Charlie Seymour Jr says:

    Oh, please… copyright a body part?

    Charlie Seymour Jr

  16. Sylvia Scott says:

    This is totally absurd and a sheer sign of arrogance. They are using works that are common like Face and Book-Only in America could this happen. It shows what $$ can buy, If this was coming from anyone else they would say the words are “Common terminology”-

  17. Sjoerd says:

    Would be insane if they could get an trademark on this normal (old) word.

  18. Philips Kopen says:

    Why would they want it anyway?

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