Instagram trademark filing shows it’s serious about crushing brand-abusive third parties

Andrei Mincov's commentary on the original article
One thing to always remember is that the trademarking process in the EU is totally different from how it works in the U.S. or Canada. In the EU the Trademarks Office does NOT bother to check if there are other previously applied for or registered trademarks that may be similar to yours. It is up to the owners of those previously applied for or registered trademarks to monitor who files what trademarks and timely oppose them, requesting the European Trademarks Office not to register the new mark. Not all trademark filings receive this much public scrutiny as Instagram's did. So as a result, there are a ton of registered trademarks that you would look at and say, "What were they thinking?!"

Aside from the issue of trademarking—whether or not Instagram gets the EU trademark for "GRAM"—it matters a lot more what Instagram's Terms of Service say. I've been saying this forever: contracts can be stronger than any type of IP because contracts can create or destroy rights. If you need to use some of Instagram's code or otherwise have access to what Instagram makes available, you would be required to follow the TOU.

P.S. The article is incorrect where it states that "Trademark, unlike copyright, is enforceable just about anywhere." It's actually the other way around. Trademarks are only enforceable in jurisdictions where you have a registered trademark or where unregistered trademarks are recognized (a very small number of countries). On the other hand, copyright, through the Berne Convention is automatically protected and is enforceable in 172 countries without any need to deal with any formalities.
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