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Facebook moves closer to trademarking 'face'

Prices for LCD TVs are expected to drop more than twice as fast this holiday season as they have so far this year, because of a supply glut.
Prices for LCD TVs are expected to drop more than twice as fast this holiday season as they have so far this year, because of a supply glut. (Jin Lee)

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Facebook has moved a step closer toward trademarking the word "face," at least in certain contexts.

The company's 2005 application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office received a "notice of allowance" Tuesday, which means Facebook has six months to show that it uses the trademark and pay a $100 fee, said Cynthia Lynch, administrator for trademark policy and procedure at the agency. Or it can file for an extension for up to 36 months. Once that's done, the trademark can be approved or rejected.

Even if it's approved, Facebook wouldn't have a trademark on "face" in every instance, only in online chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for the "transmission of messages among computer users in the field of general interest and concerning social and entertainment subject matter," according to the Patent and Trademark Office's database entry on the application.

So another company could well use "face" in a different context - think Delta Air Lines and Delta Faucets, Lynch said.

Facebook, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is also trying to rein in use of the other half of its name. In August, it filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Teachbook.com, an online community for teachers.

(Washington Post Co. Chairman Donald E. Graham is a member of Facebook's board.)

- Associated Press

COnsumers

Picture gets clearer: It's good time to buy TV

If you're in the market for a new flat-panel TV, now is probably a good time to buy.

TV prices usually drop from year to year, and the decline will be sharp this season thanks to a supply glut. Consumers have been holding out all year for better deals, leaving lots of unsold televisions on the shelves. Prices for high-definition LCD TVs will fall more than twice as fast as they have so far this year as manufacturers and retailers clear out inventory, analysts predict.

New sets will also be cheaper because TV makers have been getting great deals on the most expensive parts, the glass LCD panels.

However, DisplaySearch analyst Paul Gagnon expects prices for those components to level off early next year, so discounts won't be this steep again until the holidays next year or later.

For consumers, that means that if you by a set in the next few months, you probably won't be kicking yourself next year for not waiting a little.


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