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Ah, Human Nature—The Moment a Company Gets Big, They Start Doing Stupid Things: Facebook Is Trying To Trademark the Word ‘Face’

Sep 1, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Facebook is trying to trademark the word "face," according to TechCrunch.

However, at least one other report about the story, by CNNMoney, quotes an attorney saying that Facebook faces an uphill battle in its attempt.

""I’d bet against ‘face’ being awarded to Facebook," said Henry Sneath, a patent and trademark lawyer based in Pittsburgh. "You cannot overtake the use of a generic word people use in everyday speech."

Furthermore, a longstanding nemesis of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Aaron Greenspan–who settled a case last year in which he claimed he helped develop Facebook, is thinking of also opposing the attempt by Facebook to trademark the work "face," both articles note. Greenspan has a product called "Facecash."  

And though Facebook does not have a trademark on the word "book," according to the CNNMoney article, "Facebook’s separate fight over "book," on the other hand, has been more of a David vs. Goliath saga.  As CNNMoney reported Thursday, Facebook is suing start-up site Teachbook.com — which claims it is merely a teacher’s community. The social networking giant also forced the travel site PlaceBook to change its name to TripTrace earlier this month.

"In the case of Teachbook, Facebook would have to prove the site caused "a likelihood of confusion," said Sneath, the trademark lawyer. That’s a steep burden, he said, but Facebook could succeed."
 

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