Facebook Steals iPad App


A lesser known company by the name of Fiftythree (53), claims Facebook stole their trademark iPad application, “Paper.” The company co-founder and CEO feels that there would be no way to coexist with the prodigious Facebook company; Fiftythree would just suffer from the unbalanced competition.

Paper is a digital product designed by Georg Petschnigs, and it allows its users to create anything from books and cartoons to floor plans of their future dream house. This is a hit artistic tool that enables individuals to draw, color, and write with a Paper patented pencil, pen, and eraser. It is made for people of all ages and was given the “App of The Year Award” in 2012 by Apple.

The application Facebook intends to market, on the other hand, is much different from what Georg Petschnigs created with his product. Paper by 53 is at the App Store for iPads while the Facebook Paper app will be for iPhones.  Besides the name, the only other similarity is the Apple.

Mark Zuckerberg says the new Paper will be “the best personalized newspaper in the world.” –Los Angeles Times He hopes this will successfully draw people away from the six second, satire videos that pop up ever two minutes on most newsfeeds. Mark Zuckerberg and others with Facebook want to see more substance on their users’ accounts.

Vindu Goel and Ravi Somaiya with the New York Times says there are currently 40 content producing groups ready to sign with Facebook to provide editors a selection of personalized material for their viewing audience.  Some of these agencies are The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Associated Press, National Geographic, and Time magazine who plan on offering a large banquet of articles on a regular basis. 

One in three adults get their news from Facebook says the researchers at the Pew Research Journalism Project.  The exact wording, 47 percent of Facebook users “ever” get their news from Facebook.  64 percent of U.S. adult population is on Facebook. The sample size was 5,173 respsondents.  The two groups in the study were Facebook users (consisting of 3,268) and Facebook news consumers (1,429). The Pew research also found out that people who don’t normally look for news often find themselves engaged in the news articles they find on Facebook. What this study shows is Paper is a great strategy to bring news to the demand and bring news to what could be more demand.

Jessica Guynn with Los Angeles Times reports the Paper for the iPhone is going to be more than a news outlet.  Paper is going to be Facebook “reimagined” and maybe one day even its successor. Facebook representatives do not comment on what might be a lawsuit brought on by Fiftythree.  The Paper name might change, but it might not.  There are several instances of loopholes in patents such as when Fiftythree had their Paper app patented as “Paper by Fiftythree.” In legal terms, this might be enough for Facebook to have their own version.  Until brought to court, the claim that Facebook stole an iPad application has yet to be realized.

By Lindsey Alexander


The Sydney Morning Herald
Paper by 53
The Pew Research Study

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