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Social Networks United Kingdom

UK Company Successfully Claims Ownership of "Pinterest" Trademark 133

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-rose-by-any-other-name dept.
judgecorp writes "Pinterest could be in trouble — a British firm has successfully claimed ownership of the European trademark 'Pinterest', even though it has not yet used the term in any public products. Pinterest was formed in 2011, and popular by 2011, but did not launch in Europe until 2012 — months after the UK company Premium Interest had registered the trademark. That trademark has now been confirmed by the European Commission's Office for the Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). Since so much of Pinterest's business is based on its name, the ruling could force Pinterest to change its name — a move which has precedents: Microsoft is changing the name of Skydrive because it infringes the trademark of British broadcaster BSkyB, normally known as Sky."
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UK Company Successfully Claims Ownership of "Pinterest" Trademark

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  • Weasfest (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Sunday January 05, 2014 @03:44PM (#45872883)

    From what the summary says, these people saw someone using the name for a US service and claimed the trademark in Europe before the US company could. This seems to me to be an exceptional example of abuse of the system.

  • Happened to us too (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mattbee (17533) <matthew@bytemark.co.uk> on Sunday January 05, 2014 @06:07PM (#45873829) Homepage

    A US startup called "Bytemark" started trading in the UK (my hosting company has been around since 2002). Like an idiot I asked them to please change their name because it could cause some confusion. Until then I'd not considered trademark issues, and we finally filed for a trademark of our own. Of course they filed 2 weeks before us, after I'd sent my polite request. So 2 years and about £20,000 later (only finished just last month) we defeated their objection to our trademark at a hearing, and the trademark office gave us full rights over the name. If it hadn't gone that way we could have been harassed into changing our 10-year old brand name, especially if we'd gone into any new areas of business.

    My takeaway from that is that if I start another business I'll take on registration of the UK, EU & possibly US trademark as a given before launching. But when you're just starting out, it is (at best) thousands of pounds that could really be put to better use.

Business is a good game -- lots of competition and minimum of rules. You keep score with money. -- Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari

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