Instagram opposes Microsoft over the use of the suffix ‘gram’

Instagram, the Facebook-owned photosharing app has opposed tech giant Microsoft over the usage of the trademark suffix ‘gram’ that Microsoft intends to use for its products. Instagram has endeavoured to block Microsoft from having ‘Actiongram’ federally registered as a trademark owing to the use of the suffix ‘gram’.

According to Instagram’s Notice of Opposition with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) the company is convinced that it “will be damaged by the registration of the Actiongram mark,” as Microsoft’s “goods claimed in its application are related to the goods and services offered by Instagram in connection with its Instagram trademarks.”

The main concern at this point seems to be that if ‘Actiongram’ was to be a trademark of Microsoft, it would be deceptively similar to Instagram trademarks, enough to cause conflict and confusion regarding the goods offered and the origin of the particular goods.

Another major concern is that it will cause the public to believe incorrectly that the particular line of products belonging to Microsoft is affliated with Instagram and/or that the goods have been licensed, sponsored or endorsed by Instagram.

Microsoft wants to register its mark in the class of goods and services that covers “Computer software for virtual reality visualization, manipulation, immersion and integration of audio, video, text, binary, still images, graphics and multimedia files; operating system software; computer software, namely, software for setting up, operating, configuring, and controlling wearable hardware and wearable computer peripherals.”

Instagram also holds its own set of federally registered trademarks , not less than 14,  that apply to such classes of goods/services, including “computer software for the collection, editing, organizing, modifying, transmission, storage and sharing of data and information,” among other things.

This is not the first action taken by Instagram against ‘gram’ related trademarks and probably won’t be the last. The company has been extremely vigilant in protecting its trademarks.  However, it is important to note that this time the trademark battle is against Microsoft and not against small entities. In the past smaller entities against whom similar trademark suits were filed chose to change their names not to avoid a costly legal affair.

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Authored By- Priyanka Ashok

Image is in Public Domain.

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