Facebook orders members not to use Face

Social networking site Facebook has come up with a novel way of trying to ignore official trademark laws.

Knowing that it can’t get a trademark on the word “book” it is insisting that anyone who signs up for its service agrees not to use other generic words in any company they might set up.

Wired unearthed the bizarre attempt while sifting through Facebook’s user agreement.

In the newly revised version of its “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities,” the agreement says by using or accessing Facebook, a user must agree not to use its copyrights or trademarks, including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Wall and 32665, or any confusingly similar marks, except as expressly permitted by its Brand Usage Guidelines or with its prior written permission.

Facebook has not trademarked the world “book” although it has trademarked the letter “F,” “Face,” “FB,” the number “0″ with a period, “F8,” “Facebook Developer Garage,” “Wall,” “Facepile,” “Nextstop.com,” “Facebook for good,” “Friendfeed,” Facebook Insights,” “Facebook Pages,” and “Facebook Ads.”

It is unlikely to get a trademark for the use of the word “book”. An outfit called myEworkBook filed an application to get the “Book” trademark in the US, but gave up. Facebook is trying in the European Union’s trademark database, but the current status is “application opposed” with “likelihood of confusion”as the reason.