Reporting Trademark Infringements
Generally, trademark infringement occurs when all three of the following requirements are met:
- A company or person uses a trademark owner’s trademark (or similar trademark) without permission
- That use is in commerce, meaning that it’s done in connection with the sale or promotion of goods or services
- That use is likely to confuse consumers about the source, endorsement or affiliation of the goods or services
The touchstone of trademark infringement is often “likelihood of confusion,” and there are many factors that determine if a use of a trademark is likely to cause confusion. For example, when a person’s trademark is also used by someone else, but on unrelated goods or services, that use may not be infringement because it may not cause confusion. Which party used the trademark first can often be an important consideration as well.
There are also many limits to trademark rights that can preclude a trademark infringement claim. These include, among other things, geographic limitations, as well as the ability for someone to use your trademark to lawfully comment on or criticize your goods or services.
Please note that the law in different countries relating to trademark rights and trademark infringement can vary. If you’re not sure if a particular use of a trademark would be considered infringement, you may want to seek legal advice.
Trademark dilution may also be unlawful in certain countries. Dilution, which applies to famous trademarks, may occur in certain circumstances when a trademark is used without permission in commerce. Examples of dilution can include blurring (using the mark for unrelated goods or services in a way that weakens the distinctiveness of the mark) or tarnishment (using the mark in an unflattering or offensive way).
Facebook can’t adjudicate disputes between third parties, and so we wouldn’t be in a position to act on trademark reports that require an in-depth trademark analysis or a real-world dispute outside of Facebook. In these situations, rather than contacting Facebook, you may want to reach out directly to the party that you believe is infringing your rights, or seek any resolution in court or by other judicial means. If you’re sure you want to report content on Facebook that you believe infringes your trademark, you can do so by completing this form.
Please note that submitting a claim of trademark infringement is a serious matter with potential legal consequences. Before you submit a report, you may want to send a message to the person who posted the content and resolve the issue with them directly. You may be able to resolve the issue without contacting Facebook.
Remember, only the trademark owner or their authorized representative may file a report of trademark infringement. If you believe something on Facebook infringes someone else’s trademark, you may want to let the rights owner know.
Please note that we regularly provide the rights owner’s name, your email and the details of your report to the person who posted the content you are reporting. This person may contact you with the information you provide. You may wish to provide a valid generic business or professional email for this reason.
The fastest and easiest way to submit a report of trademark infringement to us is to use our online form. Whether you submit your report through our online form or another method, Facebook needs the following information to be able to process your report:
- You have a good faith belief that use of the trademark described above, in the manner you have complained of, is not authorized by the trademark owner, its agent, or the law
- The information in your notice is accurate
- Under penalty of perjury, you are the owner or authorized to act on behalf of the owner of a trademark that is allegedly infringed
Please note that we regularly provide the rights owner’s name, your email address and the details of your report to the person who posted the content you are reporting. This person may contact you with the information you provide. For this reason, you may want to provide a valid generic business or professional email address.
Facebook removed content as a result of my trademark report. What information is sent to the person who posted that content?
When we receive trademark reports through our online form and remove the reported content, we typically provide the person who posted the content with the following information:
- Report number
- Rights owner’s name
- Email address provided by the reporting party
- Details of the report
- Instructions on how to submit an appeal
The person whose content was removed may contact you with the information you provide. You may want to provide a valid generic business or professional email address for this reason.
In rare cases (such as when we are contacted by fax, mail or email), we provide the report number and a description of the removed content. Facebook may provide additional information if it’s requested by the person who posted the reported content.
Under Facebook’s Terms of Service and Community Standards, you can only post content to Facebook if it doesn’t violate someone else’s intellectual property rights, including trademarks. Please note that as a Facebook user, you are responsible for the content you post. If your content violates Facebook’s policies or is reported to Facebook as infringing the intellectual property rights of another party, Facebook may remove that content.
Before you post content, you might want to ask:
- Have I used someone else’s trademark to sell or promote goods or services in a way that may confuse people?
- Does my use of a trademark only refer to someone else’s goods or services, or make some other type of non-infringing use of the trademark (example: using a trademarked word in its ordinary dictionary meaning, or using the trademark in a way that is not related to the sale or promotion of products or services)?
If you have questions about trademark law or whether your content infringes another party’s trademark rights, you may want to seek legal advice.
If you submitted a trademark report to us through our online form or via email, you’ll receive an automated message that contains information about your report, including a unique report number. You should save this number in case you need to contact us about your report.
Sometimes, we might respond to your report and ask for more information. If you receive a message from our team you should respond directly to that message. Your response will be received by our team so they can continue to look into your report.
Please note that we regularly provide the person who posted the content with the following information about your report:
The person whose content was removed may contact you with the information you provide. For this reason, you may want to provide a valid generic business or professional email address in your report.
Content I posted on Facebook was removed because it was reported for intellectual property infringement. What are my next steps?
When we receive a report from a rights owner claiming that content you posted on Facebook infringes their intellectual property rights, we may need to promptly remove that content from Facebook without contacting you first.
If we remove content you posted because of an intellectual property report submitted through our online form, you’ll receive a notification from Facebook that may include the name and email address of the rights owner who made the report and/or other details of the report. If you believe the content shouldn’t have been removed, you can follow up with the rights owner directly to try to resolve the issue.
If you're an admin on a Page, and content another admin posted on the Page was removed due to an intellectual property report, you'll receive a notification with information about the content that was removed, as well as the name of the other admin who posted it.
Appealing the removal of content
If your content was removed because of a copyright report, you can submit an appeal. You'll receive instructions about how to appeal in the message we send you. Similarly, if the content was removed under the notice and counter-notice procedures of the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), you may be able to file a DMCA counter-notification. Again, instructions will be available for you in the message we send you. Learn more about our appeals process.
Some apps you may find on Facebook are created and operated by third-party developers. Facebook doesn’t control the content made available through these apps.
To report an advertisement on Facebook:
- Click next to the ad you want to report.
- Click Report Ad and follow the on-screen instructions.
You can also report an ad that you believe infringes your intellectual property rights by using this form. If you submit a report, please include a direct link to the ad. If you don’t have a direct link to the ad, you can attach a screenshot to your report.