Social networking giant Facebook is on the verge of securing a trademark on the word face. Earlier this week the site received a Notice of Allowance from the US Patent and Trademark Office, meaning there are only a few steps left before the trademark is issued.
Online documents reveal that the trademark will only apply to online sites and messaging services, including “online chat rooms” and “electronic bulletin boards”.
However, lawyers have said this may limit the use of the word in other telecommunication services such as Apple’s Facetime.
The site has also been asked to provide a “statement of use” by the US Patent and Trademark Office, detailing how it intends to use the word. To secure any legal claim on the word face, the site will have to use the trademark on its own in commerce – currently, the word is only used in conjunction with “book”.
Earlier this year, Facebook Inc. filed trademark-fueled legal proceedings against online sites Teachbook, Placebook, Lamebook and the x-rated Faceporn.
Facebook has also expressed interest in securing a trademark for the term “book”, though this has not yet been obtained.