FiftyThree tells Facebook ‘stop using our name’ after Paper app launch

FiftyThree, the maker of Paper, the popular drawing app on the iPad, has asked Facebook to change the name of its new news aggregation app called Paper.

In an open letter to the company, and reiterated in a phone interview with Pocket-lint, Georg Petschnigg, co-founder and CEO, has asked Facebook to stop using the Paper name for its new app launched on Monday.

"We remain hopeful that Facebook will reconsider," Petschnigg told Pocket-lint down the phone from the company's HQ in Seattle.

When asked what would happen if the social network didn't, the CEO of the relatively small company simply told us that FiftyThree "stands for creativity" but refused to comment further on whether it would result in lawyers becoming involved.

In the letter, published on the company's website, Petshcnigg uses slightly stronger, more persuasive words:

"There’s a simple fix here. We think Facebook can apply the same degree of thought they put into the app into building a brand name of their own. An app about stories shouldn’t start with someone else’s story. Facebook should stop using our brand name."

Petschnigg acknowledges though that his company has been put in a tough position because of the close ties it has with Facebook - one of Facebook’s board members is an investor in FiftyThree - but the impression we get from our quick chat is that he hopes everything can be solved without the hassle of going to the courts in a good old-fashioned "just doing the right thing" kind of way.

We've asked Facebook for a comment and are awaiting a response. We will update the story when, or if, that happens.

Update: FiftyThree applied for a trademark on "Paper" through the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday.