Yesterday many news sources (including The Times,
The New York Times and
Tech Times) were noting a symbolic redesign to a well known symbol from the online world. Facebook have redesigned their “Friend” and “Group” icons which had previously had a male silhouette in front of a female one to now have the female in front, with both male and female silhouettes now also of equal size and stature. The articles note the positive nature for gender equality on the Internet of this small but symbolically important change. Icons, favicons and other symbols can be particularly potent brand elements in the online and mobile environment (with perhaps Twitter being a crucible of such imagery and IP). We note that the old Facebook Friend symbol features in a number trade mark registrations including at least two CTM registrations and that the redesigned symbol was filed for (as a CTM) in May. With brands facing the ever-increasing pressures of simplifying icons to fit onto the limited real estate of mobile apps, brand owners should consider the merits of registering subtle refreshes whilst monitoring third party use to prevent any unwanted encroachment on their valuable designs.
Trademarks / Tech / Advertising
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