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EUROPEAN UNION : Instagram Wins with Distinctive Logo

Verifier: Kamil Valiyev, DENTONS, Baku, Azerbaijan,

INTA Bulletins—Europe Subcommittee

The Opposition Division of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has accepted the opposition from Instagram, LLC (B 3 125 764) on February 3, 2022, against a logo application filed by Singaporean based firm Shantanu Pte. Limited.

In reviewing the logos, the Opposition Division found both marks to contain a centrally positioned square-resembling device with a circle inside it and both signs consist of a stylized depiction of a camera. In both signs, the circle is depicted in white lines, and those lines are highly similar in terms of thickness and proportion as well. Additionally, both signs have a colorful background and the overall color perceptions are very similar.

Instagram’s Logo

Contested Logo

Despite their differences, both marks have similar color progressions. The color progression of the contested sign is comprised of orange/red hues. In Instagram’s logo, the color progression is continuous, and approximately half of the background is made up of darker red, pink, and violet shades. The Opposition Division found the signs to be visually and conceptionally similar and determined that the contested mark would trigger an immediate link with the earlier mark among the relevant public.

Instagram claimed that its mark enjoys reputation in the European Union for goods and services in Classes 9, 35, 38, 41, 42 and 45. and was so recognized before the application of the contested mark was filed (April 3, 2022).  To prove its mark’s reputation, Instagram provided a substantial volume of supportive documents.

The contested mark was also found to take unfair advantage of the distinctive character or repute of the earlier trademark since the sign would most likely be easier to remember and more easily recognized by the relevant consumers.  Further, the mark would exploit the attractive powers or distinctiveness of the Instagram’s mark.  Therefore, it was concluded that the contested trademark is likely to take unfair advantage of the distinctive character or repute of the earlier trademark.

Considering all the above, the Opposition Division rejected the mark for all the contested goods and services.

It is worth mentioning that Instagram did not take its claim of reputation of its mark for granted but went to the trouble to furnish a significant amount of evidence to the EUIPO.

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