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Invoking Facebook's New Trademark Misuse Policy to Protect Your Registered Trademarks

January 1, 0001

 

Starting tomorrow, June 13, 2009, Facebook will allow its users to create and use unique URLs (called usernames by Facebook) to direct traffic to a Facebook page. The use of such URLs may raise concerns for the owners of trademarks if a Facebook user attempts to steer traffic to a page by incorporating a trademark in the URL/username associated with a Facebook page.

Facebook is providing a mechanism for owners of registered trademarks to prevent the creation and use of Facebook usernames (URLs) that include a federally registered trademark. Trademarks (including the registration number) may be submitted to Facebook using the form available here. Submissions should be made as soon as possible to avoid the need to remove the trademark from a URL instead of preventing incorporation in the first instance.

Trademark owners may also request the removal of registered and common law trademarks from a Facebook URL. Requests may be submitted using the form available here. To implement the removal process, Facebook has said it will reserve the right to remove and/or reclaim any username (URL) at any time for any reason.

Please contact one of the attorneys identified in the alert if you would like further information regarding the protection of your trademarks.

 


This memorandum is a summary for general information and discussion only and may be considered an advertisement for certain purposes. It is not a full analysis of the matters presented, may not be relied upon as legal advice, and does not purport to represent the views of our clients or the Firm. O'Melveny attorneys Mark Miller, Shabnam Malek, and Whitney McCollum contributed to the content of this newsletter. The views expressed in this newsletter are the views of the authors except as otherwise noted.

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