Facebook, the popular social networking site, recently announced a policy that will take effect on June 13, 2009, which will allow users to personalize their URLs with usernames (e.g., facebook.com/username). Simultaneously, Facebook announced that it will provide trademark owners a few days to complete a form (located here) to reserve the rights to their marks and prevent others from registering usernames that contain those marks.
Increasingly, we have seen issues arise from trademark appropriation on sites like facebook.com and twitter.com and strongly recommend that our clients complete the Facebook form to protect their intellectual property. If you are unable to complete the form in the next few days, however, please note that Facebook maintains a process for removing infringing usernames here. After completing the form, trademark owners should also consider signing up for usernames featuring their marks on June 13. Similarly, although Twitter has not yet made a form available to prevent others from registering usernames, you may report trademark violations by submitting a web request to Twitter’s Terms of Service group here.