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Federal trademark registration provides important legal benefits such as a presumption of nationwide validity and the right to use the ® symbol. Federal registration can also be instrumental in enforcing rights with social networking services.

Several of the services—such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube—suggest trademark holders first try to resolve the issue with the user in question, and then, if the dispute cannot be resolved informally, outline requirements for filing trademark complaints.

The complaint forms ask for federal trademark registration details. Even though a registration is not required to file a complaint, it is very difficult (if not impossible) to get infringing content removed without one. When you consider that it usually costs less than $1,000 to file a trademark application, federal trademark protection provides exceptional bang for the buck.

Here are links to the trademark policies and complaint forms for all of the major social networking services:

Facebook

Instagram

LinkedIn

Pinterest

Twitter

YouTube

A trademark registration is not required to file a claim with most social media sites, however, it’s very tough (if not impossible) to recover an infringing username without one.

Submitting a claim of trademark infringement is a serious matter with potential legal consequences. If you’re not sure whether your legal rights are being infringed, then you will need to talk to a trademark lawyer. The social media platforms will not provide you with any legal advice.