FiftyThree Files for Trademark on 'Paper' After Facebook App Release

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    FiftyThree, the company behind popular iPad sketching app Paper, has filed for a trademark on the term "Paper" following the announcement of Facebook's magazine-style news curation tool, also named Paper.

    First discovered by TechCrunch, the trademark was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on January 30, the same day Facebook initially unveiled its new app. As noted by FiftyThree co-founder Georg Petschnigg in an open letter, FiftyThree was not given advanced notice of Facebook's plans and was taken by surprise by the app release.

    Though FiftyThree previously filed for a trademark on the term "Paper by FiftyThree" it did not have a trademark for "Paper" at the time that Facebook created its app. According to two trademark lawyers that spoke to TechCrunch, while the trademark is newly filed, FiftyThree could have a case if it proceeds with a lawsuit as trademarks are partially use-based and it has been using the Paper app name since early 2012.
    It remains unclear whether FiftyThree will win the trademark, as paper is a term used by many other products, apps, and services that predate even its own app. FiftyThree has not said whether it will pursue legal action against Facebook, but Petschnigg says the company is "keeping its options open."

    For now, FiftyThree has asked Facebook to "build a brand name of their own" and to stop "using our brand name."

    Paper by FiftyThree can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

    Paper by Facebook can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

    Article Link: FiftyThree Files for Trademark on 'Paper' After Facebook App Release
  2. macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2009
    Scranton, PA
    How about they both come up with a name of their own!
  3. macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2007
  4. macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2009
    Scranton, PA
  5. macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2012
    Facebook should have called their app Facebook Paper to prevent any misrepresentation on their part.
  6. macrumors 6502


    Sep 9, 2008
    San Juan, PR
    This "Paper" app should be called "Facebook for iOS"
  7. macrumors 68040


    Jul 31, 2005
  8. macrumors 603

    Sep 19, 2003
    It's listed as "Paper - stories by Facebook" on the App store.
  9. macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2012
    fair play to FiftyThree, they did use it first for an app name.

    facebook should know better, and use a different name.
  10. macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    I can sympathize with Paper's creator's emotionally, but "paper" is a generic single word, which applies well to both apps but in different ways: they are not competitors. And I don't in any way believe that Facebook felt the need to "use" 53's brand to boost awareness of their own efforts (if anything, the reverse will happen, benefitting 53).

    If I were 53, I'd use this chance to build the more unique, and more useful (for future projects) brand: "53" itself. Push "Paper by 53" or even "Paper 53" or something. Or is if "FiftyThree?" See--they have more important branding fish to fry!

    "Paper" alone was never great for branding or search/discoverability anyway. (And I don't think the app as listed was ever "paper" alone anyway, was it?)

    So I say, make lemons from this lemonade, and boost awareness of a name people can search for! Leave the "generic word" problem to Facebook, and let multiple different apps use that word freely if they wish--as long as they're not pretending to BE one another, or "stealing" awareness intentionally.

    (I do think filing a trademark might be smart regardless, to protect themselves in case Facebook ever comes after THEM.)
  11. macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2012
    They will add an "i" to the front of it, like everything it will be 'iPaper'
  12. macrumors member


    Mar 1, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    The thing that gets me about the app is that neither the name of the app nor the icon associated with it tell me that the app is associated with facebook. It's currently a featured app on the App Store and you can see that facebook is listed as the developer, but it just seems like really poor brand recognition to not have some new flagship or experiment such as this be clearly distinguishable as a facebook creation.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Glassed Silver

    Mar 10, 2007
    Kassel, Germany
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 26, 2008
    Georgia USA
    And I shall write a letter of complaint on myPaper.

    Or water ... or air ... or fire ... or earth ...
  15. macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2014
    Central IL
    This makes me laugh because Facebook sues anyone that uses the word Face or Book in their name.

    Anyone remember Teachbook?
  16. macrumors 603


    Nov 5, 2009
    IMO it's horrible. If this becomes the fb app to use I will just stop using fb. Lasted about an hour in my phone before I deleted it.


    Fair play is realizing they are not te first nor the only "paper" app
  17. macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2004
    San Jose
    I wonder if the words "rock" or "scissors" are taken yet? Had an idea for a two person decision making app.
  18. macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2013
    Who will create the Paperjam protest website?

    Of course it was never listet as "Paper". When FiftyThree created their app that name was already taken.
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2010
    I never patented the name, but I did create a "Rock, Paper, Scissors" game many many years ago. I'll see you in court (maybe) :D
  20. macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2012
    Yeah I agree. I was actually gonna say something about the abhorrent app icon.
  21. macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2010
    Provo, UT
    I applaud this move in hopes that it will further throw gas on the fire of patent/trademark reform.

    I didn't think the trademark system was as screwed up as the patent system, but apparently it has issues as well.

    The more ridiculous law suits there are , the sooner we will get a new set of regulations that make sense in this digital age.
  22. macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2010
    If 53 was so concerned about the use of "Paper" in other apps, why didn't they go to the trouble of trying to trademark "Paper", oh, I don't know -- two years ago?!

    It sure looks 53 is just trying to get money from Facebook. This is one of those rare instances where I hope Facebook is victorious.
  23. macrumors Core

    Oct 17, 2011
    Because it's not like Facebook being a giant as it is didn't just come out with an app of the same name completely overshadowing FiftyThree. Definitely it was a plot to make money from Facebook from the very beginning.
    That, exactly that.
  24. macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2004
    FiftyThree sells the "Pencil" - and i'm sure it's trademarked by now.
  25. macrumors 6502


    Feb 14, 2012

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