Zynga planning ‘Stampede Run’

zynga-logoVideogame company Zynga has lodged an Australian trade mark this week for the term ‘Stampede Run’, and evidence suggests this could be the new name for one of Zynga’s popular iOS titles.

The trade mark application was filed on November 4 by the San Francisco office of Zynga Inc, and covers various videogame classes.

A Google search for “Stampede Run Zynga” does not appear to bring up any relevant results.

However, Zynga launched a popular Temple Run-clone on the App Store earlier in the year called ‘Running With Friends‘, where players run from a stampeding bull. The Twitter account @StampedeRun, which has zero tweets and only two followers, has the ‘Running With Friends’ app icon as its profile picture, hinting that the company is in the planning stages of renaming ‘Running With Friends’ to ‘Stampede Run’.

This is backed up by another Australian trade mark filed by Zynga this week, for the term ‘Ninja Kingdom’. That is the new name of a Zynga game previously known as ‘Dojo Mojo‘ (official site), and according to a post on a Zynga community message board, the name was changed fairly recently.

The goods and services classes covered by the ‘Stampede Run’ trade mark are specifically:

Class 9: Computer game software; Computer game programs; Electronic game programs; Interactive video game programs; Computer software for providing access to computer games through online social networking websites; Computer game software for use on mobile devices; Magnetic encoded gift cards

Class 41: Entertainment services, namely, providing online computer and electronic games; Providing online information in the field of computer games; Entertainment services, namely, providing games on mobile devices

Both of the Zynga trade marks remain at the status of ‘Indexing Approved’, meaning they have not been seen by an IP examiner yet.

Click to view a screenshot of Zynga’s trade mark applications for ‘Stampede Run‘ and ‘Ninja Kingdom‘.

UPDATE

November 22: Zynga has launched ‘Running With Friends’ on Android as, you guessed it, ‘Stampede Run’.

Click to view it on the Google Play website.

Instagram seeks trade mark for ‘INSTA’

instagram-logo

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.