The humble pin has been with us for at least four thousand years: The concept dates back to Sumerian times. The word itself has been in the English language for centuries. And now Pinterest apparently thinks it owns it.
The dustup is happening because Amazon wants to buy the generic top-level domain (gTLD) “.pin”. Pinterest, however, happens to not approve:
Among the reasons for Pinterest’s objections: Domain names on .pin would cause confusion and violate the trademarks that Pinterest holds on the term “pin.” Those trademarks include “the standalone PIN trademark and a family of PIN-formative marks, including Pinterest, PIN It, P, and others,” according to the complaint filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization.
The “P,” by the way, is just Pinterest’s logo. They haven’t started going after letters of the alphabet. Yet.
It’s especially problematic because Amazon, which applied for seventy-six of these things, isn’t going to make them available to the wider public. Instead they’ll be tied to Amazon specific domains, so, for example, Avengers.Movie would take you to Amazon’s page selling said movie, and ELJames.author would redirect you to a basic literacy course.
Needless to say, Pinterest would rather not have .Pin funneling traffic away from their website, since it’s pretty much the only product they have. What ICANN, the guys who hand these things out have to say, will be up in the air until they sort through all the disputes.
In the meantime, you might want to buy pins if you need them. They might be getting scarce pretty soon.