By Noah Johnson
Pinterest has filed a trademark infringement suit against a startup called Pintrips in the U.S. District Court for Northern California. Pintrips is a small travel-planning startup that launched in 2012. Pintrips provides travel-planning services, such as flight tracking, where users “pin” routes they are interested in to monitor prices. The service contains a limited number of social network elements where a user can interact and share tips with others. Pinterest, on the other hand, is an Internet giant and currently the third largest social network by user count in the United States, behind only Facebook and Twitter.
Pinterest alleges that a number of Pintrips’ actions amount to trademark infringement. Pinterest’s first claim focuses on the prominently displayed “pin” button on both companies’ websites. The complaint alleges that “[a]n important element in Pinterest’s success has been the popularity of its PIN IT button,” which allows users to save content on the site. Pintrips has a similar button. The outcome of the case will reveal whether Pinterest can successfully lay claim to the “Pin” button. While not a ubiquitous feature of the Internet, the “Pin” feature is used in a variety of applications, such as Google Maps. Further, “Dropping a Pin” has become synonymous with letting your friends know if you are in a certain place while using certain apps. Continue Reading