GMA News Online

Facebook tries to trademark the word 'book'

March 29, 2012 11:02am

Tags: Facebook
After asserting its claim on many variations of its name, social networking site Facebook is now trying to expand its claim over even the word "book."
The claim over "book" is included in a newly revised version of its "Statement of Rights and Responsibilities," tech site Ars Technica said.
"You will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Book and Wall), or any confusingly similar marks, except as expressly permitted by our Brand Usage Guidelines or with our prior written permission," Ars Technica quoted the revised statement of rights as saying, adding "Book" was not present in the previous version.
"Clearly, Facebook wasn't shy about asserting trademark rights on 'book' before today. But updating its user agreement gives the company added ammunition in litigation. The updated Statement of Rights and Obligations hasn't taken effect yet, but a comment period expired yesterday," it added.
Ars Technica noted the number 32665 refers to the combination that lets Facebook users update their pages through text message.
It added Facebook had launched multiple lawsuits against websites incorporating the word "book" into their names.
While it said Facebook does not have a registered trademark on "book," it can assert trademark rights based on its use of a term, even if the trademark is not registered.
On the other hand, Ars Technica noted Facebook gobbles up trademarks on variations of its name, with a search of the trademark database maintained by the US Patent and Trademark Office showing Facebook has 73 active trademarks.
These include different uses of the words "Facebook" and "like" such as the letter "F," "Face," "FB," the number "0" with a period, "F8," "Facebook Developer Garage," "Wall," "Facepile," "," "Facebook for good," "Friendfeed," Facebook Insights," "Facebook Pages," and "Facebook Ads."
Ars Technica also said Facebook has a pending trademark application on "book" listed in the European Union's trademark database, but the current status is "application opposed" with "likelihood of confusion" listed as the reason for opposition.
There are already numerous European trademark claims over "book," but in different contexts than the social media one claimed by Facebook. — TJD, GMA News
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