On Saturday, June 13, 2009, at 12:01 AM EDT, Facebook (www.facebook.com), a US-based international social networking website, will update its policies to allow users to create usernames for themselves and establish personalized Facebook URLs incorporating these usernames (i.e. www.facebook.com/username). Once a user has created this username and established the personalized URL, there will be no way for the user to change or transfer it. This is an attempt by Facebook to prevent cyber squatting.

Facebook has established two methods for trademark owners to protect their rights under this new policy. The first method is preemptive, and allows a trademark owner to prevent the registration of a trademark as part of a username. To register and protect a trademark, please visit http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=username_rights. The second method is reactive, and allows a trademark owner to submit a notice of trademark infringement to Facebook, so that Facebook can remove or reclaim a username that incorporates a trademark. To recapture a trademark from a username, please visit http://www.facebook.com/copyright.php?noncopyright_notice=1.

For more information about the topics raised in this Client Alert, please contact Joseph Mahoney, Deborah Ruff or anyone in our Intellectual Property Practice.

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