Samsung wants to trade mark the word ‘Plot’

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Korean technology giant Samsung has filed for a number of new Australian trade marks in the last week, including one for the word “Plot”.

The six new trade mark applications were lodged on April 16, and are for the terms “Plot”, “App Connect”, “DTOC”, “Citron”, “Diffuser” and the logo of Samsung’s new UHD curved TV (picture).

All the trade mark applications cover Class 9, broadly covering technology of various kinds.

The “Plot” trade mark covers computers, mobile phones, media players, software and electronic books. In summary, they are:

Class 9: Computer application software for mobile phones, smart phones, tablet computers, portable media players and handheld computers; computer software for managing and organising various digital reading contents, namely, digital electronic-books, digital electronic-newspapers, thesis and digital electronic-magazines; mobile phones; smart phones; digital cameras; portable media players; mp3 players; mp4 players; portable computers; wireless headsets for mobile phones, smart phones and tablet computers; tablet computers; digital set-top boxes; DVD players; 3D eye glasses; computers; downloadable electronic publications; downloadable electronic books

If accepted, Samsung could potentially challenge any person or company that has a commercial product listed above that uses the word “Plot” in a prominent way.

A Google search does not appear to bring up any relevant results for Samsung Plot or any of the other trade marks apart from “App Connect”, which is the name of an app on the Samsung Gear device.

Each of the new Samsung trade marks are currently at the status of ‘Filed – Approved’, meaning they have not been seen by an IP examiner yet.

Click to view a screenshot of Samsung’s trade mark applications for “Plot“, “App Connect“, “DTOC“, “Citron“, “Diffuser” and the logo for the new curved UHD TV.

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Instagram seeks trade mark for ‘INSTA’

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A fortnight after reports surfaced that photography platform Instagram had updated its guidelines to ban apps that feature the words ‘INSTA’ or ‘GRAM’, the Facebook-owned company has lodged an Australian trade mark application for the term ‘INSTA’.

TechCrunch reported two weeks ago that, although it doesn’t currently hold the trade mark for either specific term, Instagram had sent an email to app developers telling them that connected apps that use the words ‘INSTA’ or ‘GRAM’ (such as the popular Luxogram app) will be banned from accessing Instagram unless modified “within a reasonable period”.

Instagram said in the email to developers:

As we hope you can appreciate, protection of its well-known trademarks is very important to Instagram. For example, it has always been against our guidelines to use a name that sounds or looks like “Instagram” or copies the look and feel of our application.

It was assumed this meant the protection of its ‘INSTAGRAM’ trade mark, which it holds in the US, Australia and around the world.

It now seems that Instagram wants the trade mark for at least one of those specific terms.

The company lodged an Australian trade mark on Monday, September 2, for the word ‘INSTA’, alongside the lnstagram logo (pictured).

The trade mark covers five classes across different technology and photographic goods and services. In summary, they include:

Class 9: Downloadable computer software for modifying the appearance and enabling transmission of photographs

Class 38: Telecommunications services, namely electronic transmission of data, messages, graphics, images and information; broadcasting services over computer or other communication networks namely, uploading, posting, displaying, tagging, and electronically transmitting data, information, messages, graphics, and images

Class 41: Photosharing and data sharing services; electronic journals and web logs featuring user generated or specified content

Class 42: Providing a web site that gives users the ability to upload photographs; file sharing services, namely, providing a website featuring technology enabling users to upload and download electronic files; providing temporary use of non-downloadable software applications for social networking, creating a virtual community, and transmission of audio, video, photographic images, text, graphics and data; computer services in the nature of customized web pages featuring user-defined or specified information, personal profiles, audio, video, photographic images, text, graphics and data

Class 45: Social introduction, networking and dating services; providing access to computer databases in the fields of social networking, social introduction and dating

The trade mark application was lodged by the Californian office of ‘Instagram LLC’ and an Australian legal representative, Spruson & Ferguson.

It remains at the early status of ‘Indexing Approved’, meaning it has not been seen by an IP examiner.

A further search reveals that the company also lodged a similar US trade mark for the term ‘INSTA’ in March. A decision is not due on that application until December.

Instagram was purchased by social media giant Facebook last year for approximately USD$1 billion. Facebook is known for its strict brand protection, including a very similar move last year – trade marking the words ‘FACE’, ‘BOOK’, the letter ‘F’ and 70 other Facebook associated terms.

Click to view a screenshot of Instagram’s ‘INSTA’ trade mark application.