Intellectual Property Law

Reports: Facebook Is Close to Trademarking the Generic Word 'Face'

Corrected: As reported earlier by TechCrunch, the Facebook social networking site is close to getting a trademark on the generic word “face.”

To do so, following a notice of allowance by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, however, Facebook must not only pay a fee but file a statement of use and actually use the term on products in commerce, rather than simply in its domain name, according to the CNNMoney blog.

Because its business is limited 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,” the use of the word will not be restricted, even if Facebook does trademark it, in ordinary commerce, according to the Daily Mail.

However, a trademark should help cut down on copycat websites.

Because face is a generic word, experts have expressed doubt that Facebook would ever succeed in trademarking it.

Corrected on Nov. 24 to change “patent” to “trademark.”

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