Facebook recently came out with a new app called PAPER which has been called its best app ever, which is great . . . unless you already have an app called PAPER.   FiftyThree would be the one who already had such an app named PAPER - and not an unknown app at that, but one which won app of the year by Apple and an Apple design award, as indicated on FiftyThree's website.  So the question now is whether FiftyThree can stop Facebook's steamroller or not.  Apparently the CEO of Facebook has apologized for not contacting FiftyThree before the rollout of its app, but that is not the same as saying he was going to change the name of the app or acknowledging that FiftyThree has rights superior to Facebook.  This brings us to the issue of trademark which is mentioned in this article by Jordan Crook of Tech Crunch (disclaimer - I am quoted relative to trademark issues).  The issues raised relative to these companies and the e-commerce sphere apply equally to the Cleantech and renewable energy industry.  

So who used PAPER first relative to the product in question (e.g, computer software  app)  and is this mark distinctive enough to function as a trademark?  Regarding the question of "Who First?", it appears that there may be other apps on the app store having earlier priority dates than either of these claimants, and if this is true then maybe neither Facebook nor FiftyThree has a real claim on the mark.  This may be why FiftyThree has PAPER BY FIFTYTHREE registered as a trademark and not just PAPER, i.e., there was a question when FiftyThree filed as to whether they thought they could get PAPER, so they filed for the longer mark instead.  As for the distinctiveness question, there is a argument that this term could be generic for a sketch pad type digital interface or a newspaper type app such that neither of these companies could get the mark according to Trademark law.   It is worth noting however that the issue of whether PAPER is generic (and thus not registrable) does not appear to have been raised by the Trademark Office during the time the application for PAPER BY FIFTYTHREE was before the office such that a pretty good argument could be made that PAPER could function as a trademark.  In such a case, PAPER may be worth fighting over . . . and we may see just that in the near future ...