Friday, November 26, 2010

Apple FaceTime soon over?

Apple's FaceTime might be soon be renamed, if Facebook will get a patent to the word "face". Or Apple might need to pay to Facebook a big amount of money if FaceTime falls under the patent law.
It seems to be an easy way for Facebook to get some cash in.
I wondering why it is even allowed to patent something which is a common word.

Paul Sakuma/Associated Press
Facebook is a few steps away from getting a trademark on the word “face” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, according to a document discovered by the technology blog TechCrunch, which it wrote about on Tuesday.

According to the document and filing, Facebook was informed on Tuesday that it could move to the next phase of the trademark process, which will include paying a fee and providing a “Statement of Use” illustrating how the word will be used in the real world and online once it has been trademarked.

So does that mean Facebook will be able to stop people from using the word “face” unless they are willing to send a check to Mark Zuckerberg, above, a company founder? Not exactly.

As the Patent and Trademark Office points out, the trademark will apply only to “telecommunication services, namely, providing online chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among computer users.”

But that still limits the use of the word for businesses when it comes to the modern-day world, as almost every business has a Web page, Twitter or Facebook account associated with it.

There are some options for people who want to a “face”-like alternative for the name of their company or start-up. A quick perusal of the thesaurus offers some options, including countenance, mug, physiognomy, veneer, front, display and facade. I guess they just don’t have the same ring to them as “face.”

The latest development is sure to inspire more frustration with the Patent and Trademark Office. For the past several years it has approved a number of strange requests related to the Internet and start-ups.

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