On June 9, 2009 Facebook announced that it would allow users to create a personalized URL for their Facebook pages so that it would read www.facebook.com/username. To reduce "name squatting", Facebook allowed brand owners to reserve their registered trade marks in advance of opening up the registration process on June 12, 2009. On June 13, 2009, Facebook users (with pages registered prior to May 31, 2009) were able to register usernames. As of June 28, 2009 Facebook users with pages registered after May 31, 2009 and new page holders have been able to register usernames.

Facebook has now sent out communications to trade mark owners that took advantage of the advance reservation process, inviting them to sign up for usernames that include their registered trade mark at the following link:

http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=requesting_your_username.

Please note that Facebook cannot guarantee the username request will be granted in the event that multiple users have claimed rights to the same mark.

What to do now?

If your company reserved its brand name, the username may be requested so that you can take advantage of the personalized URL. It is important to note that only one username is permitted per Facebook page.

If your company is not interested in requesting the username of a reserved brand name you can reserve the trade mark(s) and have them taken out of the pool of possible usernames. Facebook, however, notes that if a username is not requested for a reserved trade mark, it may be possible for another entity to request that username in the future if they also claim rights.

What happens if a conflicting username has been registered?

If reservation was missed, trade mark owners can still object to a conflicting username by engaging Facebook's complaints process. The form to do so can be accessed here:

http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=username_infringement