Facebook Paper app may be outrunning trademarks soon

For those of you who've been paying close attention to the Apple mobile App Store for the past few years, you know good and well that there's more than one app out there now with the name "Paper" attached to it. One of the better-known apps with this name was made by the developers at FiftyThree – an app that gained quite a bit of traction in 2012 for their well-made attempt at simplifying onscreen art and journaling. Here in 2014, they're finding Facebook releasing an app with the same name (so to speak).

According to the Wall Street Journal, Georg Petschnigg, co-founder and chief executive of FiftyThree spoke up this week about the situation. Apparently Facebook received a letter on FiftyThree's behalf and replied to it in turn.

"We were really surprised when we heard that Facebook was releasing an app called Paper. We have, in writing, asked Facebook to refrain from using the name.

But their response was that they apologized for not letting us know sooner, but as it stands, they are continuing with their launch." – Georg Petschnigg, co-founder and chief executive of FiftyThree

Petschnigg also suggests that the app "Paper" has been trademarked in several countries, including the United States. Whether or not the name "Paper by FiftyThree", trademarked in the United States Patent and Trademark Office on May 11th, 2012, will hold up against Facebook's Paper is another question. FiftyThree has posted a public statement requesting that Facebook change its name as well.

The Paper app's current title in the Apple mobile App Store is "Paper – stores from Facebook", suggesting they may be able to keep out of the way of the rest of the Paper apps on the store for the time being. Should FiftyThree get Facebook to change their name to Paper Stories, they may have some real paper-based competition on their hands, too. Stay tuned as we see how the big blue social network handles this situation.