Orange County – Last week Pinterest filed a lawsuit against travel website Pintrips, citing trademark infringement and dilution among other claims. Pinterest, which is known for fiercely protecting its brand and image, stated that the lawsuit came as a results of “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.” Specifically, in its complaint Pinterest argued that the Pintrips name is too similar to its own in appearance, sound, and commercial impression and that users often use Pinterest to pin travel-related ideas, which also adds to the confusion among consumers.
Pintrips, which markets itself as a “collaborative trip-planning dashboard for tracking flights and prices across destinations in real-time” has yet to respond to the action. The much smaller site may be in for a tough battle if it chooses to fight the lawsuit, as a quick glance of the two sites reveals striking similarities. Foremost, Pintrips explicitly allows users to “pin” flight and hotel deals to a “dashboard,” much like those prominently featured on Pinterest. Pintrips also features a “Pin” button much like Pinterest’s “Pin it” button.
Functionally, the two sites appear similar as users of both are encouraged to browse items and then pin them to a board where they can view and compare them. The Pintrips website instructs “Bookmark your favorite flights from any travel site and see them appear in your personal dashboard.” Pinterest similarly allows users to browse among an endless array of pictures and save them to their own boards. Pinterest makes note of these types of parallels in its complaint and further notes that many travel companies, including airlines and hotels, use Pinterest to market themselves. Further, it claims that Pinterest serves the same purpose as Pintrips, as users can literally “pin trips” and trip ideas on Pinterest.
While it remains unclear at this point how Pintrips will respond to the lawsuit, it does not appear that Pinterest has any intent of backing down. The latest in a string of efforts to maintain its brand, this lawsuit seeks to ensure that Pinterest remains the only viable “pinning” application for users. Indeed, with its nearly 70 million users and an entire portion of its website dedicated to how to properly use and display the Pinterest name and logos, it seems Pintrips has its work cut out for it.