What’s in a name? A lot.
At least on June 13th starting at 12:01 a.m. (EDT). You see Facebook is hosting a name claim extravaganza. That’s right, no more url addresses with Facebook.com and a random series of numbers and digits. You will be able to select a username at http://www.facebook.com/username for your Facebook account to easily direct friends, family, and coworkers to your profile.
Law firms and the companies they counsel who are interested in getting found on Facebook will also be able to stake a claim on http://www.facebook.com/yourcompanynamehere.
Companies can (and should) preemptively protect their rights to their trademarks and block cyber-squatting by registering their mark Facebook. All you need to do is visit here. Provide your company’s name, the trademark and the federal trademark registration number, and subject to their review, Facebook will reserve the trademark and not let anyone else use it.
According to Brian Fergemann, a partner and intellectual property attorney at Chicago’s Winston & Strawn, quoted today in the National Law Journal,
“This is really a way for someone who has a distinct or famous trademark to let Facebook know that others should not be allowed to register that page. They can just say, ‘Please don’t let anyone use my registered trademark.’ ”
I agree, and even if your law firm or company is not yet on Facebook you should register your mark, NOW. The good news is, if you find that someone’s username infringes your rights, you can fill out an automated IP infringement form.
Now for the fun stuff!