Anti-litter app Littergram does two things – social justice and infringing Instagram's trademark

Anti-litter app Littergram does two things – social justice and infringing Instagram's trademark

On a good day, Instagram is full of the sunniest of photos. On a bad day, it reeks of scandals. Today's one of those days, for Instagram is pressing against the creator of British anti-litter app Littergram to change its name on the ground of trademark infringement. Littergram promotes the cause of registering littering as an anti-social behavior (like drunk driving) by letting users snap photos of garbage and pollution, then report their location to their council.

Founder Danny Lucas went on to register the brand in December 2015, but Instagram lawyers stepped in, saying that Insta appreciates the social objectives and respects Mr. Lucas's efforts, but the name needs to go away. They maintain that the brand's product "uses and relies on social media usage" in the same way as Instagram, and is therefore exploiting a similar-sounding and established trademark.

Lucas uploaded a video containing a personal plea to Facebook founder and Instagram owner Mark Zuckerberg, in which he explained that changing the brand "would destroy all our ingenuity and hard work." A spokesman for the social network argued that Littergram's motives are admirable and that there has to be a way for such an app to operate without infringing on Instagram's trademark. Facebook too maintains the stance that Littergram is a photo sharing app that operates in a similar way to the one whose name it touches upon. It hopes that an agreement can be reached before the case has escalated to the court.

If you want to have a look yourself or support the cause, Littergram is still up on Google Play and the App Store. Lucas' plea can be seen in the BBC source link below.

Download: Android | iOS


source: Littergram , BBC

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18 Comments

1. legiloca

Posts: 1675; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

Facebook/Instagram didn't tell them to shut down, all they want is a name change. why are they reacting like kids?

2. TerryTerius unregistered

Too attached to their name, probably. In any case, it isn't worth going to court with FB's army of lawyers over.

4. tokuzumi

Posts: 1821; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

Boo, Instragram, Boo.

6. joevsyou

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

litter gram and Instagram is not the same...

7. gersont1000

Posts: 473; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

This is so stupid from companies. Now nothing in the world can have the word 'gram' in it? It's like Apple suing Amazon for calling their app store the "app store". Or the Candycrush Saga makers suing companies for using the word "saga" in their game titles (after tons of games before they even existed have had the word saga in their title). Or even T-Mobile (which I love) suing because some other company uses a pinkish color in their logo!

8. TerryTerius unregistered

It's the fact that they have a similar name and function in a similar way. It's not just the name. If a car company named Lastin Martin popped up, guess who might have problem with that?

11. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

This is true, but it isn't like the idea was theirs, there were App stores before Apple's App store, ovi store, specifically, you could get apps from that, they just didn't call it 'app store' but the function is the same, you got apps from it, they called it their own name, you know, instead of naming it after what it contains. And instagram is just telegram reworked with insta-gram, litter-gram is the same yes, but the functionality/idea is different.

12. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

function/concept/purpose that is.

16. An.Awesome.Guy

Posts: 636; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

They should sue scientists for using Gram unites as wighting unit

17. Bernoulli

Posts: 4359; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

6litter? I wonder if Rudy Huyn also has lawyers like this lol

18. JumpinJackROMFlash

Posts: 464; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

Moronic trademark laws allowing companies to take centuries old words and trademark anyone else using parts i.e. windows -gram etc. Instagram - sure, trademark it, but disallowing Littergram which is a completely different word is crazy. How can a suffix be trademarked?

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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