California Trademark Attorney® Blog

Facebook Claims the Word 'Book' as a Trademark

April 3, 2012

facebook.jpgCalifornia - If you are among the 845 million active Facebook users, then you can soon expect to review a new Statement of Rights and Responsibilities from the social network giant. Last week Facebook announced that it would soon be updating its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, giving ample time for its users to voice their concerns to the company. Users had up to last Thursday to state any concerns with the new agreement and Facebook is currently reviewing the feedback. Once all changes are finalized users can expect to receive notification about the new Statement of Rights and agree to it or discontinue using the site.

Among the current 9 pages of changes, which are open for public viewing, Facebook swapped out its '32665' trademark which it previosly abandoned and now lists the word "book" as a trademark. The previous excerpt in the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities stated: "You will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Wall and 32665), or any confusingly similar trademarks, without our written permission". It will now change to: "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 trademarks, except as expressly permitted by our Brand Usage Guidelines or with our prior written permission." The change is listed in the 'Facebook Site Governance' section of the agreement.

Other changes to be expected in the new agreement will include sharing your content and information, safety or "community standards", special provisions applicable to social plugins, and special provisions applicable to software. Although Facebook has yet to file a trademark application with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for the word 'book', adding the word to its new user agreement might be the first step in that direction. Facebook currently has at least 70 trademarks in addition to the eight listed in the excerpt above such as 'FriendFeed', 'Like' and 'FacePile'. Although Facebook has successfully trademarked the word "Face" it may not be as easy to trademark the word 'book'.