UK Business Retains Pinterest Trade Mark Following Ruling

Premium Interest Gets Name Despite Challenge By Social Media Platform

08.05.2014

Social media platform Pinterest has failed in its bid to stop a UK business registering PINTEREST as a trade mark in the European Union, following a ruling by the Community Trade Marks Registry.

Pinterest launched in 2011, but it did not become known in Europe until later and so did not file an application for an EU wide trade mark until 2012. In the interim period, a UK business Premium Interest applied for PINTEREST.

Pinterest tried to stop the Premium Interest trade mark for PINTEREST being registered – and failed.  The Community Trade Marks Registry recently ruled that Pinterest could not stop the Premium Interest mark going forward as they could not show prior entitlement. 

The Registry said that there was little brand awareness of the Pinterest website at the time the Premium Interest trade mark application was filed and so they had no right to stop it.

It is believed that Pinterest may appeal the ruling.

Expert Opinion
The difficulties that Pinterest is facing demonstrate why it is so important for businesses to take steps from a very early point to protect their trademarks and key intellectual property.

"Despite now being a popular and well-known website, OHIM ruled that this was not the case when the rights were taken up by Premium Interest – meaning that legally they remain entitled to have control of the brand.

"If unsuccessful in this case, the impact that this could have on Pinterest may be significant. Particularly, they may have to consider changing their name in order to differentiate from any product or service that Premium Interest chooses to launch with that brand.

"The simple lesson is that businesses simply cannot delay when it comes to protecting key branding assets, with the consequences of losing out to a competitor being significant."
Joanne Bone, Partner