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Act TODAY to Protect Your Trademark from Facebook "Land Rush"

Earlier this week, social networking giant Facebook, Inc. announced that it will allow its users to create personalized web addresses (URLs) for their profile pages. This decision poses great risk to corporations, their brands, and their trademarks.

Beginning at 12:01 am EDT on Saturday, June 13, 2009, Facebook users are expected to create a "land rush" for personalized profile addresses.

Facebook apparently foresees the problem of trademarks being selected by individuals and entities other than the trademark’s rightful owner, so they have set up a facility for owners of registered trademarks to prevent the registration of a username that matches the trademark. To take advantage of this blocking service, companies or their agents enter contact information, the text of their registered trademark, and the trademark registration number at http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=username_rights.

Facebook’s “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) about the new “usernames” program appear at http://www.facebook.com/help.php?page=897. If a Facebook user has already selected your trademark as their username, you can provide notice to Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/copyright.php?noncopyright_notice=1.

If you have questions about trademarks, infringement, or other intellectual property issues, please contact a Bingham McHale IP attorney found on the main page of this newsletter.

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