Mobile messaging startup Path and content sharing service Pinterest are heading to a possible legal battle pertaining to the trademark of the letter ‘P.’ Path is currently trying to prevent Pinterest from obtaining approval for its application for a trademark for obvious and logical reasons.
Path is trying to halt the approval given by the US trademark office to Pinterest, which has applied for a trademark of its design mark. That is because if Pinterest finally gets the trademark approval, Path would be prevented from using the same design.
It could be noted that the respective logos of Path and Pinterest are featuring striking similarities other than the use of the letter ‘P.’ Aside from the resemblance in logo, Path is also making a case because Pinterest appears to have copied several service features that have been identified with Path.
Pinterest’s recent update
Pinterest updated its mobile application last July. The Website introduced new animations and interface. Users of Path could attest that the new Pinterest animations resemble those that they have been using. Those involve small and circle icons that instantly pop up when users tap the screen so they could be directed to other actions to be taken.
Path users could tap a button with the plus (+) symbol located at the screen’s bottom to pop up several post types that they could make. In Pinterest, those animations appear only when the user clicks and holds a shared pin. From there, the user could tap the preferred action—favorite, re-pin, or email. Incidentally, this Pinterest feature also resembles the one introduced by Tumblr to its users earlier this year.
Path may argue that Pinterest has adopted a logo design that it had used first. If this case succeeds, it may prevent Pinterest from taking the rights to the trademark. In the process, the Trademark Office should first check if the mark had already been used in prior registrations. It should also determine if the mark to be approved is confusing the public or if it is possibly deceptive.
This would be an interesting battle that normally happens in the trademark scene. It is a fight that becomes inevitable as businesses struggle to create unique logos that would differentiate their brands from the competitors and peers. This case is more interesting due to the striking similarities of the two design styles. Just like in any legal battle, no one could really tell this early if Path would be able to win the case or if Pinterest could obtain the trademark approval.