About “Face”: Facebook Gets Approval to Register Trademark FACE

November 30th, 2010

About “Face”: Facebook gets approval to register trademark FACE

John R. Harris
Partner, Technology/IP Group

News reports last week reveal that Facebook, Inc. has received a Notice of Allowance on its application to register the word FACE for telecommunication services. Specifically, the company applied to register the term in 2005 and encountered some resistance for several years, but was able to overcome that resistance by staying away from cars and motoring and with other actions. The particular services for which the mark will be registered are these: “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.”

Having the term FACE registered gives the company an opening to contest the name and/or use of various terms that include the term “face” as a component or syllable — with or without other terms. Facebook has already shown a willingness to enforce trademarks by asserting claims against usage of the terms PLACEBOOK and TEACHBOOK. Now, it seems the company will have new ammunition for its trademark arsenal.

In order to receive a U.S. trademark registration, Facebook has to file a Statement of Use within six months of the Notice of Allowance (Nov. 23, 2010) accompanied by a nominal fee and a “specimen” showing actual use of the mark in commerce in connection with the recited services. Presumably, Facebook is well along in the process of figuring out how to use the term FACE in connection with its services.

Here are some articles about the development:

“Facebook to Trademark the Word ‘Face'”

“Can Facebook Trademark the Word ‘Face’?”

This information is presented for educational purposes and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Opinions expressed are those of the author and not of Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP; see disclaimer at http://www.www.mmmtechlaw.com/privacy-policy-and-disclaimer/. Contact John Harris for more information at jharris@mmmlaw.com.


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