Facebook has received a notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the trademark on the word “face” when used in the context of online chat rooms or bulletin boards.
Facebook filed for this trademark in December 2005…
The notice of allowance does not mean that Facebook has been granted the trademark just yet, but it’s getting really close. In the next three months, Facebook must pay a fee and file a statement of use, at which time it must prove that it is actively using the mark to provide goods or services, and then get the approval of an attorney.
The trademark covers the word face only in the context of “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,” the pending document reads. While the context in which the trademark can be enforced is quite narrow, it’s still scary to see Facebook owning a trademark for a term as general as “face.”
Facebook is also vigorously defending its rights over the other half of its name. In August, Facebook filed a suit against social network Teachbook.com in an attempt to protect the use of the word “book” pertaining to an online networking service.
[via Inside Facebook]