At 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning, Facebook will allow user to register user names and domain names (facebook.com/username) to go with them.
One marketer tells me employees at her firm have been instructed to wait up until midnight Friday so they can quickly register user names for all of the firm’s clients before squatters can claim them during the land rush.
This approach may not be necessary.
On Digital Media Law, Jonathan Handel explains how a company can protect its trademark before the land rush commences:
At http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=username_rights, there’s a “Preventing the Registration of a Username” form for entering your company name, title, email, trademark, and registration number. (Oddly, there’s no place to enter your own name.) As that last data item suggests, only registered marks are eligible, although I’d recommend that holders of trademark applications in process simply enter the application number instead. Filling in the form will prevent someone else from using your trademark as a user name.
What happens if an infringer registers your trademark before you fill out the form? In that case, fill out Facebook’s “Notice of Intellectual Property Infringement (Non-Copyright Claim)” at http://www.facebook.com/copyright.php?noncopyright_notice=1 and hopefully the matter will be taken care of. Facebook doesn’t describe the procedure it follows for these forms.
Finally, what if someone maliciously fills out the “Preventing the Registration of a Username” form and blocks you from using your own mark as a user name? Facebook’s FAQ (at http://www.facebook.com/help.php?page=899) doesn’t address that, but I’d suggest filling out the Notice of Intellectual Property Infringement (Non-Copyright Claim) form and providing as many details as known.