A certain social network is now one step closer to owning a trademark on the term "face." Yesterday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office sent Facebook a Notice of Allowance, indicating that it doesn’t take issue with the idea.
One significant point: this doesn’t mean that Facebook’s preparing to sue anyone who uses words like facelift, facemask, and face-off. Or "face" by itself, for that matter.
According to the official USPTO document, the trademark would only apply in the realm of "[t]elecommunication services, namely, providing online chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among computer users in the field of general interest and concerning social and entertainment subject matter, none primarily featuring or relating to motoring or to cars."
Also, there’s not even any sort of guarantee Facebook would defend its trademark there. This could just be a way of making sure no one else trademarks "face" and then goes after the company.
In any event, the matter isn’t quite settled yet. Facebook still has to file a Statement of Use, use the term "in commerce," and pay a fee if it intends to secure the trademark.
Hat tip goes to Alexia Tsotsis.