Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Trademark the Word “Face”

Don’t panic! While news outlets have been reporting that Facebook has trademarked the word “face”, it doesn’t mean you’ll no longer be allowed to say it for free.

Facebook has been trying to register the word as a trademark for a while now, but the US Patent Office finally decided to grant the social network’s application.

A short time ago, Facebook took over the trademark application for “Face” from a company who operated a site called Faceparty.com. That particular application was opposed by Aaron Greenspan (who took Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to court over the creation of Facebook), but now has been granted a Notice of Allowance.

What that means, is that as long as Facebook pays an issue fee to the US Patent Office within the next three months, it will be allowed the trademark on the word “face” when it comes 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, none primarily featuring or relating to motoring or cars.”

Or in simpler terms, it would be pretty dumb to name your new startup something like MyFace, FaceMagazine, or FriendFace. Outside of what the trademark covers, you’d be okay (so go ahead and name your new dog Face, I guess).

One important thing to note is that it’s not uncommon for companies to trademark specific words that pertain to their company – for example, Apple has the word “Chicago” trademarked, which refers to the font that is included on their OS’s.


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