The United States Patent and Trademark Office is really losing it. The department is granting Facebook a trademark to the word ‘face.’ The social network already owns the word ‘book.’ Facebook received a Notice of Allowance from the USPTO, now all it must do is pay a fee and file a Statement of Use to obtain its trademark.

Luckily the trademark has some limits. According to TG Daily, the trademark covers use of the word for “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 Patent Office, like everything else in this country, has gone bonkers.

Found by Cinàedh.

  1. Ram says:

    What will happen to Facetime now ?

  2. dcphill says:

    Is “Facebook” one word or two words?
    Is “Facetime one work or two words?
    How does this affect the trade mark
    “Face Book”?

  3. Andy says:

    I guess this will fly in the face of (NSFW depending on your boss).

  4. t0llyb0ng says:

    Patent & Trademark Office needs to be persuaded to do an about-face on this one.

  5. bobbo, pay attention to the details says:

    I support this WITH the restriction as posted. The TM and its protection is a public good as it permits the public to know who they are dealing with rather than some infringer offering a dubious product/service.

    Anyone wanting to sell some non infringing service with the name like “FaceBook Turkey Cooking Services” is free to do so. Why should some rip off startup get google hits with “FacedBook”–although that does have a ring to it?

  6. jbenson2 says:

    Bobbo said: “…rather than some infringer offering a dubious product/service.”

    Sort of like the a company with no concern for the users’ privacy whatsoever and is willing to hand data over to any corporation that coughs up some moola?

    Certainly describes Facebook to a “T”.

  7. Special Ed says:

    What are the ramifications for saying, “sit on my face.”

  8. Mark Trade says:

    Hopefully (silently) JCD has trademarked “Buzzkill™”

  9. Grandpa says:

    So is JCD violating the patent is he says he is “BuzzFaced”.

  10. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    “Face the Nation” is safe but a “Face the Nation” website might violate the TM, especially if they had comments.

  11. Animby - just phoning it in says:

    I don’t use Facebook but just visited the site to find out: They use the term “Facebook”, i.e. one word for their site. Therefore, I don’t think they should be allowed to break the term apart and trademark common words that are included in their title. What next? Will they TM the individual letters? Excuse me, I think I’m gonna run out right quick and TM the words “goo” and “ogle.” Oh, wait. Does anyone hold the trademark on the word Trademark?

    The USPTO needs to get some common sense. I’m not an Apple fan but, Okay, boys, sic your lawyers on ’em, the limitations seem to pretty much describe many of the functions of Facetime.

  12. El polo loco says:

    The whole idea of patents and trademarks are silly. What are we in 4th grade? Running to the teacher sobbing because the other kids stole my idea or keeps repeating something I said first? It is impossible to steal an idea from someones brain. The second you “share” that idea, it is no longer yours alone. You have pretty much given it away. It should be the sole responsibility of the company to protect it’s secrets without the ability to drag the violent gang called the government to do their dirty work for them. As far as fraud is concerned, THAT is completely legitimate. If some third party creates a can with the coca cola logo and puts their version of soda in it, the consumer has been defrauded and has cause for action to gain reparation. Coca cola, on the other hand, would have to do a better job of distinguishing their brand so others don’t imitate it as easily. That is solely their responsibility.

  13. deowll says:

    I can see a company getting a copyright on the name of their site but giving anything on a normal word word is not good.

    Yeah I know Coke and Google are exceptions but they made their word normal usage and I don’t think people will confuse the soft drink with the stuff used in steel making or the drug.

  14. podman says:

    Next step. Trademark every word in the English language, then set your lawyers on everyone who says or writes anything.

  15. Steve S says:

    That’s it. I am off to trademark the words Steve, St, ev, eve and any other word or term that can be made from “Steve”. Building an empire begins with laying a single stone.

  16. Publius says:

    FB did not take “book”? really?

    Fill in the X with anything

    it’s pretty good still

  17. two to the head says:

    God has a trademark on “Holy” and “Bible”. He will smite your ass if you infringe!

  18. face_off says:

    I’ve always suspected that Facebook (and probably Google) are just programs that were constructed for the government so that people would be conned into voluntarily reporting on themselves, their activities, their friends, and giving over all their data and communications. It saves the government a hell of a lot of money and effort in building up spy systems.

  19. JimD says:

    Thought Zuck would be the first to trademark SH!T AND HEAD !!!


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