As we previously reported (Torys’ IP bulletin), Facebook recently announced that it would allow Facebook users and Page administrators to create personalized usernames for their Facebook profiles and Pages. Anticipating the risk that some users might try to incorporate third-party trademarks into their usernames, Facebook provided brand owners with a procedure to block or prevent their trademarks from being registered as usernames.

The deadline for taking advantage of this procedure has passed and Facebook is now accepting requests for usernames. Page administrators may request usernames based on trademarks that their company owns and that have been previously blocked.

Facebook has, however, advised that it cannot guarantee the fulfillment of a request for a particular username. The Facebook team has noted that “several factors,” account for this – such as several parties claiming rights to the same marks (for example, HARVEY’S Restaurants and HARVEY’S Furniture and Appliances, or MAPLE LEAF Foods and the Toronto MAPLE LEAFS).

This means that if your company does not have a Facebook username for a blocked trademark, another company with legitimate rights in the same mark may be given the username upon request.

For further information, please visit Facebook’s username Help Center.

We expect that Facebook may change or adapt its username system over time, as trademark rights issues develop.