Opens door to sue your face off

Facebook gets go-ahead to trademark ‘face’

The US Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance that paves the way for Facebook to trademark the word “face”.

Facebook has already gone after a number of companies worldwide which have included face and/or book in their name, hoping to trade off the mega-brand in social networking. Trademark rules such as this are generally restricted to the area of business the company is within but Facebook’s category of “telecommunication services” is remarkably broad.

Transmission of messages, social and entertainment subjects, online chat rooms and forums all fall under the genre which may soon be covered by the move.

Just a few months ago Facebook sued a firm trading as Teachbook over the word “book” in the name even though it was a social networking site for teachers and clearly “book” would be a perfectly generic term to use in such a context.

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