12 June, 2009

New Facebook usernames and your trade marks

New Facebook usernames and your trade marks

As you may be aware from recent media reports, from tomorrow Facebook will allow users to register a username as part of a second-level domain name, in the form www.facebook.com/username. This facility will be available from 12.01am United States EDT time on 13 June 2009, which is 13 June 2009 at 2.01 pm Australian Eastern time. From that time, users could register a third party's trade mark as their URL.

To assist with reducing username "squatting", Facebook usernames will be non-transferable and each user will be permitted to select only one username that must be as close as possible to their true name.

To block the registration of a username that is the same as your trade mark (e.g. www.facebook.com/[trade mark]), Facebook has also allowed trade mark proprietors the ability to register their trade marks as a Facebook user name before (or after) the above deadline via an online form at www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=username_rights. You will need to submit your company name, title, email address, relevant trade mark(s), and the trade mark registration number(s).

Facebook has also set up a complaints procedure for unauthorised usernames. If you discover an unauthorised Facebook username bearing your trade mark, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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