Business owners should be aware of a new Facebook policy that took effect at 12:01 a.m. this past Saturday morning, June 13, 2009. As of that date, Facebook began permitting customers to sign up for URL addresses that incorporate unique words, such as a business name.
This article explains why this change may be important to your business, and how any business that currently possesses one or more federal trademark registrations can block others from taking your trademarks on Facebook.
What is Changing
- Any profile on Facebook currently has a URL that looks like this: www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=123456
- The NEW policy will permit the profile to identify the user. So, for company x, the new profile would be:
This new policy, however, could also open the door to trademark misuse by competitors or others who might try to reserve your business's name or other trademark on Saturday morning.
Here is how you can prevent that from happening IF YOU HAVE A FEDERAL TRADEMARK REGISTRATION
Facebook is permitting trademark owners to block anyone else from signing up for a Facebook URL that contains registered mark. We recommend that businesses do this immediately for every federally registered trademark that they own. Click here for the direct link to the Facebook page that allows trademark owners to create the block (then click on Intellectual Property Rights Holders).
With or without a trademark registration, you may still want to sign up for a URL that incorporates your business name, or product or some other unique word. Here is how to do that:
- Log onto your existing Facebook profile. A prompt will appear asking if you want to create a unique URL. This will give you the right to choose what your URL will be (most likely, the name of your company, a product, a brand, etc.).
- If you own a federal trademark registration, you may block others as described above regardless of whether you currently have a Facebook profile.
Article courtesy of Josh Glikin, Bowie & Jensen, LLC, Attorneys at Law.