Facebook is in a bit of a doozy after launching its news app Paper, and company FiftyThree has filed to trademark “Paper” as its app had the name first.
Yesterday, we reported that the company issued a statement over Facebook’s new app, and made it very clear they want the social network to change the name.
“An app about stories shouldn’t start with someone else’s story. Facebook should stop using our brand name.”
FiftyThree’s request is understandable considering its illustration/drawing app Paper has been around since 2011.
However, the company only had a trademark for “Paper by FiftyThree,” which means that legally Facebook didn’t do anything wrong.
According to trademark lawyer Victor Cardona, FiftyThree does stand a chance in court:
“Trademarks, to a degree, are use-based. This means that “just by using a mark in a particular field, you’ve got rights. Some are state-based and some are federal-based, but if I start using a mark before you in the same area of goods or services, I’ve got rights to the mark over you.”
Ironically, if the situation escalates to the courtroom, FiftyThree’s lack of paper could be a hurdle.
While the company has received $15 million in funding, Facebook is a multi-billion dollar company with plenty of cash to battle it out in court.