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Patent Office Agrees To Facebook's "Face" Trademark
bill




msg:4234383
 7:58 am on Nov 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have lost all remaining respect I might have had for the USPTO...
Patent Office Agrees To Facebook's "Face" Trademark [techcrunch.com]

Facebook is just a payment away from trademarking the word "Face." As of today the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office has sent the social networking site a Notice of Allowance, which means they have agreed to grant the "Face" trademark to Facebook.

[edited by: bill at 2:27 am (utc) on Dec 2, 2010]

 

Trax




msg:4234390
 8:35 am on Nov 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

wow... this is beyond ridiculous.

iambic9




msg:4234394
 9:09 am on Nov 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

On the surface it sounds ridiculous, but don't forget trademarks are issued within a context and are there to protect a brand or identity that hard work and money has gone into building.

[...]usages in "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"[...]


It's there to stop people creating products such as "Face Chat" or "Face Mail" leveraging the popularity of Facebook. They can't (and most likely wouldn't attempt to) use it to simply prevent people using the word "Face".

For example Facebook will be able to shut down myface.com, but will have precisely zero legal recourse against myface.co.uk.

This is nothing new, it's great link bait though, nobody thinks it's strange that "Apple" is trademarked.

lgn1




msg:4234424
 11:47 am on Nov 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

and it's probably a little late, because I imagine any .com that had anything with face in the name has probably been taken; and thus grandfathered.

J_RaD




msg:4234453
 12:46 pm on Nov 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

someone hurry up and trademark "book" then shut down facebook for using "book"

Webwork




msg:4234456
 12:56 pm on Nov 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have lost all remaining respect


USPTO.gov -> TESS -> Basic Word Mark Search: "Face"

4296 Records(s) found for trademarks or applicatons for marks containing "face".

So, 4295 "face marks" was okay . . but 4296 was your breaking point for respecting the USPTO, eh Bill? :P

Well, as Dirty Harry was known to say "A man's gotta know his limitations . . "[youtube.com ]

anshul




msg:4234459
 1:03 pm on Nov 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's there to stop people creating products such as "Face Chat" or "Face Mail" leveraging the popularity of Facebook.


FaceChat, FaceMail, MyFace or WahteverFace doesn't mean, it will be there, just thriving and leveraging Facebook's popularity.. if the product or service offered is remarkable or usable, then it would be popular, on by itself!

If some people want to call their product, FaceMail.. there should be nothing wrong to name it that way.

bwnbwn




msg:4234477
 2:14 pm on Nov 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is B.S. Someone paid some lawyer big bucks to bribe another someone to bribe another someone to get this crap done.

StoutFiles




msg:4234494
 3:09 pm on Nov 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've always said that working in the U.S. Patent Office must be the best job ever. I bet the bribes they get from companies must be astronomical, millions of dollars ride on the approval of many patents.

wildbest




msg:4234546
 5:12 pm on Nov 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is outrageous. Can I have my own face on the Web or all I can have is a face on Facebook?

g1smd




msg:4234671
 9:17 pm on Nov 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's there to stop people creating products such as "Face Chat" or "Face Mail" leveraging the popularity of Facebook.

I imagine Apple will have problems with "FaceTime" then?

iambic9




msg:4234694
 10:33 pm on Nov 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Apple's "FaceTime" existed before Facebook's trademark application.

willybfriendly




msg:4234703
 11:02 pm on Nov 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

I find it odd that such a generic term would be granted trademark status based on intent to use, rather than existing use (and there is a significant difference) This is tantamount to saying anyone can select any common word and, based on their intent to commercialize it, obtain trademark protection.

There was a time when McDonald's had to open the burger joint BEFORE they could trademark the name. I guess now you can just go to the dictionary and start filing for marks...

willybfriendly




msg:4234709
 11:10 pm on Nov 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Apple's "FaceTime" existed before Facebook's trademark application.

Better check that. The first filing actually goes back to Dec 1, 2005 - although it was not originated by Facebook, Inc.

[tmportal.uspto.gov...]

Demaestro




msg:4234715
 11:28 pm on Nov 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is no different then apple getting a trademark for Apple in relation to the computer industry, and no different then Apple records getting a trademark in relation to the music industry.

Which is why Apple Computers got sued by Apple Records.

Facebook doesn't have exclusive use of "face" just like Apple computers doesn't have exclusive use of "apple".

"face" is no more generic then "apple"

This is actually why trademark law was put into place, to avoid confusion in the marketplace.

<I think I am funny>
Imagine someone makes a facemail... everyone will assume that it has no privacy protection.. that isn't fair ;)
</I think I am funny>

bwnbwn




msg:4234729
 12:33 am on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Apple is the exact name of the company Face is just a name in the company there is a huge difference.

Demaestro




msg:4234734
 12:57 am on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

What is the difference bwnbwn? Trademarks don't have to be an exact textual match to the full company name.

Apple Records got a trademark for Apple but their name is Apple Records.

Just because bashing FB is popular doesn't make this a bad ruling, rulings like this are made all the time.

Remember the law is there to avoid confusion in the marketplace. There is no denying that anything web or social media related with 'face' in it is going to be associated with Facebook.

This judgment reflects that reality.

davezan




msg:4234824
 9:03 am on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I bet the bribes they get from companies must be astronomical

Is there a basis, preferably factual, for such?

I find it odd that such a generic term would be granted trademark status based on intent to use

It doesn't...does it, WebWork?

For goodness sakes, folks...we all live in the real world where there are everyday samples of everyday words used as trademarks. We load gas at Shell...wash our clothes with Tide...buy a Brothers printer...the list goes on and on.

What might be outrageous is if Facebook, say, goes the way of Leo Stoller's attempts to have absolute, exclusive use over stealth by doing the same for the word face. They said in a tech blog (TC) they aren't, though I suppose that won't stop some folks from believing otherwise.

Much ado about nothing, really.

David

iambic9




msg:4234827
 9:12 am on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Better check that


The usage / context is the important part, why does this keep getting skipped?

I could create a website called FaceTime all about clock faces and get sued by neither Apple or Facebook.

bird




msg:4234841
 10:54 am on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes, and specifically the use doesn't actually seem to be given in present case. Facebook doesn't use the term 'face' in business, which traditionally was a prerequisite for it being recognized as a trademark.

wildbest




msg:4234893
 1:53 pm on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

4296 Records(s) found for trademarks or applicatons for marks containing "face".

Marks containing 'face' is something very different from the mark 'face' itself!

This is no different then apple getting a trademark for Apple in relation to the computer industry

Wrong!
Note, it is in relation to computer industry... So, I can have a website greenapple.whatever and it'll perfectly legal if it is not related to computer industry.

And Facebook is related to what? To the Web or to everything that is on the Web?

Lets face it...
If they trademarked the word 'face' why didn't they trademark the word 'book'? Your 'arguments' apply for both...

moTi




msg:4234925
 3:21 pm on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Apple Records got a trademark for Apple but their name is Apple Records.

apple records and facebook, you see the difference?

seems we don't have a problem with facebook bashing but rather with the fanboys here..

davezan




msg:4234969
 5:21 pm on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Marks containing 'face' is something very different from the mark 'face' itself!


A point there is a common word like face is being used as a trademark in other fields by other parties, yet they're not confusing (hopefully) among one another. Why should Facebook's attempt be any different or outrageous?

why didn't they trademark the word 'book'?


Probably because that's not the gist of their business. I read somewhere they're looking to create other services where it mostly uses the word 'face' rather than 'book'.

David

swa66




msg:4234981
 5:48 pm on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

First difference:

- apple does business and sells products known as apple
- brother sells their printers with brother on it.
- shell gas stations have shell all over them

Facebook, on the other hand has not "face" on it. It has "facebook" on it.

Second important part:

Facebook might want to in the future create a brand with services that all derive from "face". The others typically had established products before they tried to stop copycats.

Demaestro




msg:4234986
 6:18 pm on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

apple records and facebook, you see the difference?


when it comes to the legal process of applying for a trademark... no I do not see a difference. Nike trademarked "Just Do It" and that isn't even part of their name.

So, I can have a website greenapple.whatever and it'll perfectly legal if it is not related to computer industry.

And Facebook is related to what? To the Web or to everything that is on the Web?


Facebook is related to social media/online chat/email (aka ways of connecting with people online) and perhaps advertising, not anything and everything on the web, where did you see that? This isn't a special all encompassing trademark that was granted here.

Go make a website called AppleFace dot com and sell dried out apples that liken old people faces, neither Facebook nor Apple could claim trademark infringement.


why didn't they trademark the word 'book'?


Wagering a guess I would say that they have made a corporate decision to brand their future products with the word "face" rather than "book"

You know... FaceChat FaceMail and so on.. instead of ChatBook or MailBook.... does that really strike you as odd?

moTi




msg:4235069
 11:15 pm on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Nike trademarked "Just Do It" and that isn't even part of their name.

"just do it" is a unique advertising slogan. whereas "face".. oh well.

Demaestro




msg:4235070
 11:27 pm on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

moTi,

you made the point that "face" isn't the name of facebook and you seemed to be hinting that it shouldn't have been granted because of this. To counter that point I was pointing out that Trademarks don't have to be exact textual matches to the name.

There are many factors when awarding a trademark. My point was that their name being facebook isn't a reason to deny their trade for "Face"

I realize that "just do it" is part of a slogan... and face is the prefix to their facebook products. Example.... FaceChat, this one of the reasons it was granted.

whereas "face".. oh well.


Don't oh well.... you are almost there... "Face" is the prefix to a slew of products they have coming out.

moTi I am curious.... are you able to point to an actual reason why this claim should have been denied? Some relevant law or some regulation in the trademark legislation that should have made it clear that this trademark shouldn't be granted?

Other than it is the word "face" and that it was facebook that it was granted too... is there an actual legal issue here?

davezan




msg:4235091
 12:54 am on Nov 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

is there an actual legal issue here?

I wonder about that myself. Many 'objections' I've seen online appear to harp on Facebook wanting a trademark for an everyday word that happens to be part of their actual one.

Rather surprised at that since we have everyday samples of such anyway. Some of which we even use in our bathroom or kitchen.

David

badbadmonkey




msg:4235095
 1:31 am on Nov 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Jeez Damaestro is on the money... anyone still seething with outrage should take a chill pill, go back, and carefully read all his posts carefully... then once more maybe.

If you still don't get it, rather than playing amateur lawyer on WebmasterWorld with the rest of the commentards, go educate yourself by reading the law itself, or the guidelines at USPTO.gov.

Honestly.

wildbest




msg:4235446
 9:43 pm on Nov 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Facebook is related to social media/online chat/email (aka ways of connecting with people online)

... aka the World Wide Web!

Face it, every media is social!

Wagering a guess I would say that they have made a corporate decision to brand their future products with the word "face"

And this is exactly what I'm pointing at.

Now it'll be illegal if I register facewhateverproduct.com and start offering 'whateverproduct' on that website, just because, as you pointed out, they might decide to offer the 'whateverproduct' in the future as well?! However, this is not what trademarks are about! You can not (or should not be allowed to) trademark a generic word in relation with a completely undefined future product or service of unknown online usage!

This 35 message thread spans 2 pages: 35 ( [1] 2 > >
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