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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]
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!
They don't have an exclusive right to any future product offered online containing the word "face".... Where did you see that they do?
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"
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.
But your brand or identity is 'facebook', not 'face'!
If Facebook were to, say, announce they only intend to use the word Face for anything related to social networking only, will that be enough?
As already said, the Web itself is a social network! This is why what you say sounds to me like "they only intend to use the word Face for anything related to the Web".
A generic word is now excluded from all existing and future Web-related products and services. This is simply not acceptable!