Join us at TNW Conference 2022 for insights into the future of tech →

The heart of tech

This article was published on December 27, 2012

Facebook files for ‘Poke’ trademark (after obtaining and abandoning it earlier)

Facebook files for ‘Poke’ trademark (after obtaining and abandoning it earlier) Image by: TIMOTHY A. CLARY

Social networking giant Facebook has filed for 3 trademarks in the United States: for ‘Poke’, ‘Facebook Poke’ and the logo of its new Poke app for iPhone. The company filed for the trademarks on the 21st of December 2012, the same day it announced its latest smartphone app, which was apparently built in 12 days.

I was actually surprised that Facebook hadn’t registered the ‘Poke’ trademark before, considering it’s been a feature since the very early days of the service.

A quick search revealed, however, that it did, successfully, apply for the US trademark in 2006 – only to abandon it in July last year.

In other words, Facebook was forced to re-file for the trademark, which they probably let lapse because they didn’t realize they would probably need it for new products at some point. Meanwhile, Facebook still claims ‘Poke’ is one of their registered trademarks in the ToS.

And in case you’re wondering: Facebook has also managed to obtain the Poke trademark in Europe, which is still live.

As for Facebook’s Poke application for iPhone, it initially rocketed to the top of the free iOS app chart but came down just as rapidly.

Image credit: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO for AFP / Getty Images