The ugly side of the Facebook Paper app

Most of us know what Flipboard is and how it offers a really nice  interface  to browse news garnered from our social networks in a totally new way.

Well, Facebook has recently released a competitor called Paper, which displays content updates according to our interests and allows customization based on different set of topics. The Paper app works exactly like a newspaper, displaying first and foremost, your news feed. This can be accompanied with pages of topics which include but not limited to photography, enterprise, technology, etc.

When I first heard of Paper, I got a déjà vu feel. Yes, it reminds me of the sketching app called Paper by FiftyThree. Initially, I thought to myself, won’t there be some form of trademark issue?

As reported by Mashable, FiftyThree wasn’t happy at all with the way Facebook branded its new app and may well be gearing up for legal actions against Facebook. Georg Petschnigg, CEO of FiftyThree, publicly asked Facebook to change the name of its app but to no avail.

Petschnigg wrote in a blog post: “An app about stories shouldn’t start with someone else’s story. Facebook should stop using our brand name.” FiftyThree had filed a trademark for the name “Paper” with the US Patent and Trademark Office with the application dated 30 January 2014, the day Facebook announced the app officially. It’s not clear on whether FiftyThree will take any legal actions as of now.

Even though I have used the new Facebook app and really love the new form of interaction with my news feed, I feel that Facebook could have put in more effort in the naming process. Personally, I feel that this move had since caused quite a confusion to consumers. Flipboard was able to find such a unique name, no doubt Facebook could have done it too. As the story unfolds, I’m keeping my fingers crossed on the outcome.