It’s the end of the world as we know it. Well, not really, but once they receive their final payment from Facebook, the US Patent and Trademark Office will allow the company to trademark the word “face”. According to TechCrunch, “the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office has sent the social networking site a Notice of Allowance, which means they have agreed to grant the “Face” trademark to Facebook.
All Facebook needs to do is pay the issue fee within three months of today and the “Face” trademark will be issued and be published in the official USPTO gazette and everything.”
While it’s bizarre that a company should have the right to trademark a common-use word, it isn’t as bad as it seems. In this case, the USPTO is limiting the scope of the trademark only 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 to cars.”
What that means is that other companies in the social networking sphere would be wise to not include “face” in their names. Others, however, are in the clear.