Facebook has decided to let companies file their trademarks to prevent other users from registering a username that they have rights to. This has been an issue that many Twitter users have seen and the company has found it difficult to manage since they respond to trademark disputes on a case by case basis. Facebook is taking a different approach by letting users fill out a username prevention form. Businesses must have a “registration number” but I’m not sure what number Facebook is looking for.
Is it the registration number of the company or a specific trademark registration number? My guess is that Facebook is looking for a trademark registration number but this shouldn’t necessary considering that not all companies are required to file a trademark. Facebook has international companies though so handling it via a registration system makes sense. I doubt Facebook confirms registration numbers so it could get a bit tricky.
If you have a legitimate company and a trademark but don’t have 1,000 fans on your Facebook Page or are concerned someone will try to steal your name, go fill out the username rights form. When Facebook first launched their Pages product, numerous people jumped at the opportunity to build fan bases for companies that they didn’t own. Some of those pages were eventually removed while others were transferred over to the brand owners.
Will you be locking in your name? Do you have a trademark? Do you already have 1,000 fans?