Thursday, June 11, 2009

Act Quickly: Facebook is Creating New Opportunities and Challenges for Businesses, Individuals and Trademark Owners

This Friday night at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time (9:01 p.m. Phoenix Time), Facebook will be releasing "vanity URLs" to registered Facebook users, in what is sure to be a landrush for businesses and individuals to adopt a unique, easy to remember URL for their Facebook profile and home page.

Until now, Facebook profiles have been identified on the Internet with a long series of nonsensical numbers (e.g., Beginning Friday evening, users will be able to obtain an easy-to-remember name for their Facebook pages, issued on a first-come, first-served basis (e.g., User names must be at least five characters in length and can only include alphanumeric characters (A to Z, 0-9) or periods. Generic words will not be available. To obtain a vanity URL, the Facebook account for your brand, product or organization must have been live on Facebook prior to May 31, 2009, and have a minimum of 1,000 fans.

Trademark holders interested in preventing their trademarks from being registered as usernames can submit their information to Facebook. Owners are required to submit a registration number for the trademark to be protected, and owners of multiple marks must submit a separate form for each mark to be protected.Doing so will help prevent your valuable intellectual property from being registered and associated with a Facebook user. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Act quickly - the landrush begins Friday, June 12th at 9:01pm PDT.

Each case a business may face is unique and may require legal advice. Please consult an attorney about specific concerns in this area. For more information, contact Bradley P. Hartman at or 602.262.5842.
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