Is the USPTO an “enemy” for Facebook?

Throughout the movie, “The Social Network” (which is the movie based on Facebook that opened on October 1), the college-aged Mark Zuckerberg character eschews the idea of Facebook advertisements. In the movie, Zuckerberg’s focus is on getting people to use the site and thinking that it is cool. At one point, he compares ads on Facebook to having a party that ends at 11 pm when every one wants it to go until 2 am. Very uncool.

Is the USPTO this "enemy" for facebook?

But that was 2003. Today, Facebook has a huge following and a lot of companies want to get their advertising messages out to Facebook users.

Now Facebook no longer seems to find advertising quite so “uncool.” It has filed its trademark in a variety of classes related to its online advertising services.

On September 23, Facebook received an Office Action from the USPTO involving one of these filings.

According to the Office Action, Facebook had not provided evidence that of how it was actually “providing on-line computer databases and on-line searchable databases in the field of collegiate life concerning college athletics, concerts, entertainment events, art, performing arts, music, dance and academics; providing on-line computer databases and on-line searchable databases featuring collegiate student groups concerning subjects in the fields of academics and entertainment.”

Facebook, however, has responded with evidence of its football community page.

This seems to be keyed into the way Facebook wants its advertising to work: where the brands and companies will come to it and build pages of information about topics related to their products that will attract fans and potential customers.

Mark Zuckerberg still doesn’t want to chase after advertisers. Rather, he wants them to come to him.
Because he is the one throwing the cool online party and not the other way around.

By Liz Oliner (

*Interesting Note*

Over 1000 Facebook staffers took a company field trip to watch an afternoon screening of “The Social Network” (except CEO and Co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, who refuses to see the film). The Century 16 Movie Theatre is conveniently located within 15 minutes of Google , Apple , Facebook and the Trademarkia Headquarters!

Print Friendly