Facebook is trying to trademark “face”


Chief Farcical Officer
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Facebook, which has gone after sites with the word “book” in their names, is also trying to trademark the word “face,” according to court documents.

But the social networking site has met with a familiar foe. As TechCrunch first reported, Aaron Greenspan has asked for an extension of time to file an opposition to Facebook’s attempt. Greenspan is the president and CEO of Think Computer, the developer of a mobile payments app called FaceCash.

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…”

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.

I thoroughly understand the need for existing copyright-holders to press to defend their mark against every interloper no matter how small. No matter how laughable.

In this case, I think “egregious,” greedy and grasping might be a better fit.