Trade-mark Protection on Facebook

By Vanessa DeDominicis

As of June 13, 2009, the popular social networking site, Facebook, now allows users to reserve their usernames as URLs (the general information for this is posted at: http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=90316352130).

Previously, URLs consisted of a series of arbitrarily allocated numbers. Now, instead of a series of numbers, the URL can be “www.facebook.com/username”. While Facebook asserts that this service will make Facebook easier to use, it has raised a red flag for trade-mark owners who may now be at a greater risk of cybersquatters and trade-mark infringement issues. 

In an attempt to lessen this risk, trade-mark owners can use an online form to register their trade-marks with Facebook in order to help prevent unauthorized third parties from registering the trade-mark as a username (this rights registration form can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=username_rights).

Facebook has also provided a mechanism for complaints against usernames that have been registered which infringe trade-marks (information for rights holders can be found at:
http://www.facebook.com/help.php?page=896). In addition to that, Facebook’s Notice of Intellectual Property Infringement (Non-Copyright Claim) is at:
http://www.facebook.com/copyright.php?noncopyright_notice=1

We can assist you with any of these Facebook processes, whether you wish to block your trade-mark from Facebook username registration or whether you need to protect your rights which may have been infringed.

Please contact Vanessa DeDominicis directly for assistance with any of the new Facebook procedures.