TechCrunch is reporting that Pinterest has filed a trademark infringement suit against personal travel planning startup Pintrips. In addition to trademark infringement, Pinterest is suing Pintrips for trademark dilution, unfair competition and false designation of origin.
“This action arises from Pintrips’ decision to adopt a social media brand that is confusingly similar to Pinterest’s, and its refusal to recognize, discuss or remediate the confusion it causes among consumers,” reads the complaint filed by Pinterest that was obtained by TechCrunch.
Pintrips is a travel planning service that allows its users to track flights and prices in real-time. Pinterest is a social networking site that allows its users to share collections of image-led links from around the web with each other. On the surface, it would not seem that Pinterest could have any trademark dispute with Pintrips concerning the functionality of its website, but because of the capability of Pinterest users to follow specific topics on its own site, Pinterest has issues with Pintrips’ business model.
“Pinterest has made a particularly big splash when it comes to travel,” Pinterest states in its complaint. “Pinterest users have posted more than 660 million PINS in Pinterest’s ‘Travel’ category to date. Many people use Pinterest as a travel-planning tool.”
However, Pinterest’s main dispute with Pintrips obviously has more to do with the company’s name than its functionality.
“When Pintrips launched its own social media service, it could have adopted any number of trademarks,” Pinterest has written in its complaint. “Instead it chose PINTRIPS, which is similar in appearance, sound, and commercial impression to PINTEREST. In doing so, Pintrips has chosen a brand that causes confusion among consumers and implies a connection, affiliation or sponsorship that does not exist.”
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