Client Alert: Act Now To Protect Trademarks On Facebook June 13, 2009
The popular social networking site Facebook recently announced that starting at 12:01 a.m. EDT on June 13, users could create personalized URLs for their pages. This poses a potential threat to trademark owners, who should act immediately to protect their rights.
Under the new policy, Facebook members can register personalized usernames as unique identifiers. These will take the form of www.facebook.com/yourname and be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
Facebook has a Statement of Rights and Responsibilities that requires users not to infringe upon the trademark rights of others. However, the only way a trademark owner can prevent others from using a registered trademark as a personal identifier is through an online form. Click here to see the form.
While trademarks can be registered using this form at any time, we strongly urge owners to register their marks by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 12, to ensure protection. Submitting this form now will help owners avoid the time, expense, and headaches of retrieving their trademarks if someone else registers them as usernames.
You may also want to choose your trademark as a Facebook username. While Facebook has enacted some restrictions on such selections, the growing use of the service – both as a networking and a business tool – suggests it would be wise to consider taking advantage of the new username opportunity.
If a Facebook member should succeed in registering your trademark or brand name as a personal URL, please contact a member of our Intellectual Property Group.
You can find more information on Facebook's FAQ page.