Business Law & Compliance

Published

The five times small businesses were forced to change name – or face legal proceedings

2 Mins

(1) Instagram vs. Littergram

Social media platforms have all become part of our day-to-day lives, from Instagram to Facebook and Twitter to Pinterest. They all extol the virtues of free speech, sharing, collaboration and general good.

Now, however, Instagram has flexed its corporate muscles and ordered its lawyers to give British entrepreneur Danny Lucas “three to six months” to change the branding of his offering.

Littergram was set up by Lucus to highlight the anti-social nature of littering, by encouraging users to share pictures of rubbish and then report locations to local councils.

In an effort to retain the name of his app, Lucas has put together a video and sent it to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, the fellow social media platform that acquired Instagram for $1bn in 2012.

Instagram’s argument is that not only does the name sound similar, but the brand also “utilises and relies on social media usage”. However, the business is run by Lucas as a not-for-profit app, and he believes chaining the name would “destroy all our ingenuity and hard work”.

Looking to resolve the issue, Facebook has pledged to work with Littergram and Lucas to see if there was a way to have the app operate in a different enough way to not infringe on Instagram’s trademark.

But at the end of the day, with Facebook recently reporting record four-quarter profits of $1.56bn, Lucas has an adversary with very deep pockets indeed.

Keep reading to find out which major fashion brand set its lawyers on a small business.

Share this story

Why spending a lot on marketing doesn’t always deliver results
Should executives have to reveal their pay?
Send this to a friend