Facebook has filed for a trademark on the usage of “Facebook” on business cards and, more curiously, “non-magnetically encoded” ID cards among other things. If granted the trademark would protect using the word Facebook in the specified formats, not any actual invention.
So what if Facebook just wants to stop people from making fake Facebook business cards? Well, it seems like this trademark would cover that and a whole lot more including “business card and identity card design services,” “printing services” and the ominous, “facilitating social and business networking through the provision of data for use on its own business and identity cards.”
It also looks like the trademark would cover QR code and NFC/RFID uses — which work through magnetic induction, NOT the aforementioned magnetic encoding — much like the Presence cards and photobooths that allowed you to upload and tag photos at F8 (see left).
It’s easy to envision some sort of master Facebook plan where Facebook would give users a cheap physical ID that could be read by smart readers and used for a variety of practical purposes. When asked, people familiar with the Facebook matter had no clue as to whether this was actually in the works. It’s also unclear how often companies like Facebook trademark something and then don’t actually take advantage of the trademark.
If Facebook were to develop some sort of physical ID system, it would be great for marketing and extremely practical; Imagine going to concerts or movies, buying tickets through Facebook and swiping through a key fob ID card.
So will Facebook play a larger role in how we manage in our offline identity in the future? Well the idea is not so far-fetched — After all, Facebook is already most dominant identity system on the Internet.
Image via: Gsharma