A European Trademark court has reportedly ruled that social networking site Pinterest doesn’t own the name, and must change it before it plans for international expansion. Also Read - Google Tangi is the TikTok-like video app that promotes creativity
The European Commission’s Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, Trade Marks and Designs Division ruled in favour of the current owner, Premium Interest, which is a London-based social news aggregation startup, owned by Alex Hearn.
According to TechCrunch, the ruling suggests that if Pinterest wants to continue its business in Europe, it will be required to change the name, if the original owner doesn’t provides them a license.
Hearn owns similar rights on the Pinterest trademark in other markets such as Australia.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Pinterest said that the company would fight the case and appeal the recent decision.
The report said that Pinterest could still get an opening in the case on an appeal, when it would provide documents that more clearly proved that it was already a well-enough-known entity in the UK and elsewhere in Europe before January 2012 when Premium Interest first filed its mark.
However, doing so might not yield much result as to win the case they have to show they had rights before Premium Interest in Europe and the fact they are well known in the US is not relevant, what matters is their rights in Europe.
Hearn said that the use of ‘Pinterest’ was coined in late 2009/2010, to the ranking scores of news in Premium Interest, adding that they haven’t yet used the name publicly mainly due to legal reasons during the opposition proceedings, the report added.