According to online reports, Facebook is attempting to trademark the word “face” in relation to online messaging and social networking websites and services. The company is reportedly just a few steps away from achieving its ambition.
The US Patent and Trademark Office has asked Facebook bosses to provide a “statement of use”, outlining how the trademark would be applied.
If approved, companies and websites involved in messaging and social networking – including electronic bulletin boards, online chat rooms and other telecommunication services – will no longer be able to use the trademarked word “Face” in brand names or the names of products. If they do, they may face an expensive trademark infringement lawsuit from the online giant, for which they will need to have a watertight professional indemnity insurance policy.
As outlandish as Facebook’s ambition may seem, trademark specialist Fiona McBride believes otherwise:
“Facebook is right to lay legal claim to use of the word ‘face’ in the context of social networking sites and other specific computer-linked activities because they have built up a reputation in the name Facebook, of which arguably ‘face’ is the dominant element,”