Facebook Wants To Trademark The Word “Book”

Facebook was already getting enough heat over its recent privacy policy revisions, and now a revision regarding the company’s trademark rights is adding a new layer to the controversy.

According to Facebook’s revised privacy policy–or data policy, as it’s now called–by using Facebook, users must agree to not use the word “Book.” It sounds like a bizarre agreement, but Ars Technica, who first broke the news, points out that it’s likely that Facebook is doing it to assert a trademark on the word “book” without actually owning a trademark, all in order to prevent any brand confusion, i.e. any domain/company name that ends with the word “book.”

This is also not the first time that Facebook has added in a policy that prohibits the usage of certain words. In fact, the policy that you’ve agreed to as of right now prohibits the words “Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Wall” and “32665,” which is the number Facebook users call to update their page via text messages. The latest revision removes the “32665″ restriction and replaces it with “Book.”

If you’re an everyday Facebook user, this shouldn’t apply to you–you don’t have to worry about Facebook going after you for saying you read a book in one of your status updates. If you were thinking about starting up a company or a website that ends with “book,” however, you may want to change your mind.

“Adding that term merely changes the agreement we all become a party to when we accept the terms of service/use the site/etc.,” Denis Ticak of Benesch of Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP told Ars Technica.

“So, it offers some layer of protection against use of ‘book’ in, say, a company or website name. But, it only extends to those who accept the statement of rights and responsibilities.’ Let’s say you go out and create ‘Brodkinbook.’ Whether or not they have a registered trademark on ‘book,’ since you in all likelihood use Facebook and so have accepted that contract, they can arguably prevent you from using that name on the site.”

source: inquisitr.com

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