Thursday, June 11, 2009

Trademark Registration and Usernames on Facebook

Facebook recently announced that starting June 12th/June 13th they will allow users to choose personalized usernames for use on Facebook.  Users will be able to select usernames on a first-come, first-served basis.  This, of course, raises serious concerns for owners of registered trademarks who want to protect the use of their mark from others on Facebook.

Facebook has provided a form for owners to identify their marks so as to try to prevent the use of the marks as usernames.  The site is located HERE.

Given the rise of social media and the use of Facebook, it is advisable that mark owners take advantage of the opportunity provided by Facebook to identify their registered marks to, presumably, prevent the use of the marks by others which might cause confusion.  It is always better to try to prevent the harm from occurring, if possible, than to have to take action after a mark has been misappropriated and the harm has begun.

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