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Summary:

Pinterest is becoming a big brand — and, as big brands do, it’s taking legal action to drive away other companies with “pin” in their names.

You can tell a company is hitting the big time when it starts acting tough over its name. Facebook, for instance, has spent the last few years going after the likes of Teachbook, Shagbook, Faceporn and, less successfully, Lamebook.

Now image-based social network Pinterest is laying down the law about who can own “pin” words. A review of trademark proceedings shows that Pinterest has successfully driven off claimants to “Pinvite,” “Pinlets” and “Pintegrate.”

Meanwhile, a hapless company that paid $1,625 to claim rights to five “Pindle” trademarks is out of luck after receiving a double-barreled beat-down by Pinterest and Amazon lawyers. (We’re guessing the latter decided that Pindle, whatever it is, sounds too close to Kindle.)

Phone giant Sprint, however, still has a chance to carve out a bit of the “pin” world for itself. As Law360 reports (sub req’d), Pinterest and Sprint are going to trial at the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board over the latter’s “Pinsight” ad tool.

Pinterest may be sensitive about intellectual property issues these days in part because it’s on the receiving end of a claim by intimate social network Path. As AllThingsD put it, “the little red-and-white P with a mullet flourish” looks a lot like Path’s trademark — though both might be hearing from the Philadelphia Phillies at some point:

Pinterest Phillies Path logos

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  1. As far as the logo goes… it’s a P with a red background. How on earth is that something that can be trademarked? I’m sure at some point since the P was invented someone has put a red background to it. For the love, I live on planet crazy greedy.

    In other news Twitter lawyers have requested all birds not fly against a blue sky. Facebook lawyers have claimed all rights to the letter F, saying “you signed that letter away in our privacy policy, all your F’s belong to us. Google also reports that the number 1 as well as the + now belongs to Google. Google is now requesting royalties from all math homework.

  2. ‘Phone service so good, you could hear a pin drop’ is very strongly associated with much older established Sprint.
    So this time-waster Pinterest (reality: repetitious posting of photoshopped unrealistic travel, physiques, horrible recipes and home decor expectations) thinks they’re going to hijack PINcushion, pushPIN, sPINdle, PINt, PINto, PINk, PINe, PINarello and everything else with those letters?
    Enough already. Get over yourself.

  3. So Fartbook is not taken?

  4. Pinterest has added itself to the growing list of out of control “trademark bullies.” I learned of this problem when my PR firm for entrepreneurs, EntrepreneurPR, got sued by Entrepreneur magazine which claims to own all rights to the generic word “entrepreneur.” Seriously. It turns out that a magazine for and about entrepreneurs has for decades been suing entrepreneurs for using the word entrepreneur! (search for entrepreneur trademark and you’ll find 100s of articles about this).

  5. ar.dnas.1@hotmail.com Tuesday, September 17, 2013

    I guess a friend whose last night is Pinder stands a good chance of being sued. What a lot of horse feces from another over-rated American social media site.

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