Judge: Pinterest can’t force Pintrips to change names

(credit: bunchesandbits)

After its launch in 2010, Pinterest, a service that allows users to create a kind of online scrapbook, quickly became one of the Valley’s hottest startups. In 2013, Pinterest sued a much smaller company called Pintrips, whose travel-planning program monitors flight prices, saying it infringed Pinterest’s trademark. In its complaint (PDF), Pinterest sought unspecified damages and a court order that would have forced Pintrips to change its name.

After two years of litigation and a bench trial in May, Pintrips has come out on top. In a 44-page order (PDF) issued yesterday, US District Judge Haywood Gilliam found in Pintrips’ favor on every cause of action.

He blasted two Pinterest surveys that purported to show consumer confusion. Of the first, Gilliam said it was “impossible to disaggregate” survey respondents who were influenced by the Pintrips name alone from those who were thinking about its “pin button” or “pinning functionality.”

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