Instagram Challenges Instagem Trademark

Instagram filed an opposition to the registration of Market Organization Inc.’s INSTAGEM trademark on Friday before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), claiming the INSTAGEM trademark will cause consumer confusion and damage Instagram.

Specifically, applicant Market Organization sought to register the INSTAGEM mark for “Video editing” in International Class 41. Instagram stated that since its social media platform launched in 2010 it “has continuously used the trademark INSTAGRAM” in the United States in connection with its platform. Instagram owns a variety of trademark applications and registrations for its mark, which cover “a variety of goods and services.” In addition to Instagram’s social networking website, the registrations and applications include: “providing use of online temporary non-downloadable software for enabling transmission of images and audiovisual and video content” and “downloadable and non-downloadable computer software for modifying the appearance and enabling transmission of images, audio-visual and video content.” Instagram alleged that the applicant’s services are similar to Instagram’s services in connection with the INSTAGRAM mark.

Furthermore, Instagram asserted that the “INSTAGEM Mark creates a similar commercial impression as the INSTAGRAM Mark does.” Instagram opposes this registration because it believes that the applicant’s mark is “deceptively similar” to the INSTAGRAM mark and could confuse or deceive consumers. Instagram stated that consumers could “conclude, incorrectly, that Applicant is or has been affiliated or connected with Instagram, and/or that Applicant’s services provided under Applicant’s Mark are, or have been, authorized, sponsored, endorsed, or licensed by Instagram.” Instagram claimed that this potential confusion could be heightened through the larger public recognition of its trademarks. Instagram also stated that the INSTAGEM mark is likely to dilute the INSTAGRAM mark, thus allegedly causing damage to Instagram.

Instagram, represented by Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, sought for the registration of the applicant’s mark to be refused.

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