ALERT - Facebook's Vanity Usernames Pose New Threat to Trademark Owners

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June 16, 2009

On June 13, 2009, Facebook began accepting registrations for vanity URLs (web addresses). Previously, Facebook profiles and pages were assigned URLs consisting of a sequence of numbers. Now, Facebook members may select their own username such that their URL will appear in the format: Usernames are being assigned on a first come, first served basis.

Your trademark may be selected by a third party or competitor. If your trademark has been registered as a Facebook username by someone else, consider submitting a Notice of Intellectual Property Infringement form available by clicking here. Facebook has reserved the right to reclaim and/or remove usernames.

Beware of anyone offering to obtain or sell specific Facebook usernames. Facebook does not allow usernames to be transferred.

Many companies view a Facebook presence as a way to promote their brand, gain feedback, and attract customers. Facebook profiles and pages created prior to June 9, 2009 qualify for the new vanity URLs; to register go to Facebook profiles and pages created on or after June 9, 2009 will be eligible to register a username on June 28, 2009.

For more information, contact your Briggs and Morgan attorney or a member of the Intellectual Property Practice Group.

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