*Trademark infringement through facebook usernames?

[to see a more recent post on this issue please click >>here<<]

Facebook yesterday announced that it will allow users, from Saturday 12:01am EDT on, to sign up for individual user-names stating that

“to make it easier for people to find and connect with users and Facebook Pages. [...] Your username must be at least five characters in length and only include alphanumeric characters (A-Z, 0-9), or a period or full stop (“.”). [...] Think carefully about the username you choose. Once it’s been selected, you won’t be able to change or transfer it.”

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-still-

“If you signed up for a Facebook Page after May 31 or a user profile after today at 3 p.m. EDT, you may not be able to sign up for a username immediately because of steps we’ve taken to prevent abuse or “squatting” on names.”

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The registration seems already very well prepared:

Picture 2

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But of course also the possibility of unauthorized use of third party trademarks (among other rights) had to be considered:

In some cases, your desired username may not be available because someone has already selected it or because we’ve reserved certain names that have been brought to our attention in an effort to help third parties protect their intellectual property and other rights. If your username is unavailable or you wish to report that another username infringes your intellectual property rights, please fill out our automated IP infringement form.”

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…or object against the use of your trademark here: (What about name rights by the way?)

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Still, knowing that “people ain’t no good” and that some trade mark holder will not objected to the use of their TM on facebook …  I am quite positive that we can look forward to some squatting litigation about “facebook username-grabbing” (a word I’ve just invented myself ;)

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2 Responses to “*Trademark infringement through facebook usernames?”


  1. 1 Father 19/08/2011 at 21:15

    Facebook recently declined to give us back our US trademarked user name that we use internationally and copyrighted in the U.S and other countries from a regular user on the basis of first come first serve, so in that sense Facebook allows Copyright and Trademark Infringement on it’s domain and does nothing to prevent it so it is Responsible at 100% for the Infringement given it’s importance and influence, users basically do whatever they want it is why Facebook is the one that manages the content of the site, Facebook would act swiftly if let’s say Porn material is posted on it’s site, but the fact it refuses to protect other companies’ trademarks and rights on it’s domain make them the number one responsible, if Facebook comes to encounter it’s name being used under let’s say Flickr.com/facebook by a user on the Flickr domain than it is in Flickr best interests to remove that username and give it back to Facebook, but Facebook fails to do the same on it’s domain sounds like pure hypocrisy and would be absolute logic to seek legal action against Facebook not the user squatting the name or just using it without knowing it is someone’s trademark, Your article makes it sound as a simple process where we encountered careless representatives answering our emails by copying and pasting statements established in a how to book probably by their legal team which fails completely to address case by case scenarios, it is extremely worrying to see a website with such a big number of users act so irresponsibly toward business requests such as this.


  1. 1 *Grabbed Facebook Vanity URL « Austrotrabant’s Blog Trackback on 25/06/2009 at 12:05

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