Late yesterday, the US Patent and Trademark Office sent Facebook a Notice of Allowance that it intends to allow the company to trademark the word "face." As soon as Facebook pays the issue fee and files its Statement of Use, "face" will be theirs to use 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."
To find out what this means for Facebook, keep reading.
While the official jargon is a little legalese for my understanding (Motoring? Cars? Wha?), Facebook has essentially won its fight to trademark the word, preventing spin-offs, rip-offs, and other services from capitalizing on the company's success. At first, it seems a bit strange that a company is able to trademark a word like "face," but there are plenty of other everyday words trademarked by large companies . . . "Apple," for example. And, of course, the trademark only extends within the parameters set by its application statement.