Social Media Vanity URLs: Who's Claiming Your Brand?

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[author: Kathryn L. Ossian]

Certain social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and Google+, allow users to use “vanity URLs” that create a direct link to the user’s profile. For example, Miller Canfield's Twitter vanity URL is www.twitter.com/MillerCanfield. Facebook and Twitter vanity URLs have been around for a few years; Google+ just launched its early this month. Do you know if your organization’s brand is being used as someone else's vanity URL? Chances are, if you didn't reserve the brand as a URL, someone else did and is using it to direct traffic to his or her profile.

Not unlike the registration of domain names in the early days of the Internet, the initial reservation of vanity URLs is on a first come, first served basis. If you find that your brand is being used by someone else as a vanity URL on a social media site, requesting a takedown is necessary. Doing so, particularly in the case of federally registered trademarks and service marks, can result in the site freeing up the URL for your organization’s use. For more information or assistance in a vanity URL takedown, please contact us.

Learn more about the Google+ vanity URL launch.

Published In: Communications & Media Updates, Intellectual Property Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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