As many of you know, I love facebook. I spend a lot of time on it, post my pictures there, re-post my blog there, etc. In fact, the other members of the Poken team are pretty big facebook fans too, as exhibited by this video that our Chief Architect posted of me doing one-armed push-ups (the day after working out my chest, OUCH!) today.

Yesterday, however, my relationship with facebook soured a little. We received notification from our lawyers that facebook was opposing our "Poken" trademark. Apparently they have trademarked the term "poke," which seems awfully generic/untrademarkable to me. While I am honored that the facebook Goliath would even take notice of our organization, I'm disappointed that this is our first contact from them. In that we hope to bring them and their users a lot of value by being their extension into the real world, I hope they are open to engaging us instead of just opposing us.

As with all things, we shall see. In the meantime we will stay focused on building a better product to better serve our users (who are now hitting our site 40,000 times/month).


StartBreakingFree.com said...

Seems surprising and a bit unreasonable Bryan. Hopefully they come around on it. Personally, Poken doesn't remind me at all of poking people on Facebook - if anything, it reminds me of Pokemon or something like that. Interesting challenge - keep us updated!
Brian Armstrong

Noisy Pitta said...

I agree...Boo to facebook! Especially since Poken is designed to make facebook, etc. even more usable. I'm on your side! Good luck, keep us posted.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone own the patent on the letters of the alphabet yet? I'd like to buy a vowel...

Seriously, best of luck with this - it's unfortunate that who's right often matters less than who's got the killer legal team. My friend went through a similar experience as the little man vs. the big company over a board game name and pulled off a victory, so there is hope!