You can tell a company is hitting the big time when it starts acting tough over its name. Facebook(s fb), 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(s amzn) lawyers. (We’re guessing the latter decided that Pindle, whatever it is, sounds too close to Kindle.)
Phone giant Sprint (s S), 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: