Pinterest Claims PinSex, PinGay Are Cybersquatting

Jun 23, 2014 3:45 PM PST

BARCELONA — Pinterest Inc., the $5 billion startup that offers its mainstream pin-up board, has filed a cybersquatting claim against the company that operates PinSex.com and PinGay.com.

Pinterest.com officials claim the adult entertainment sites infringe on its own operations and have asked WIPO arbitrators to order a transfer of the domains in the UDRP case.

Each of the sites — Pinterest.com, PinSex.com and PinGay.com — operate on a similar concept: The sites are driven by a pin-up board content management system allowing users to drag and drop favorite items, creating their own unique collection.

San Francisco-based Pinterest, which has relied solely on angel-investor funding, started up for consumer consumption in 2011 after several years in beta. The social network reportedly drives more traffic to publishers than Twitter.com, LinkedIn.com and Reddit.com combined

PinSex.com, operated by Barcelona-based Pin-Digital, rolled out months later; the company launched PinGay.com in 2013. PinSex alone had 7 million visitors in February, has more than 1.2 million daily ad impressions and has more than 70 percent U.S. traffic, Pin-Digital said on its website.

Pin-Digital CEO and founder Christian Thorn told XBIZ on Monday that his company, which counts Hailey Morgan and Vanilla DeVille as porn star investors, is disputing the claims that a WIPO arbitration panel will hear.

Thorn said Pinterest's claims are "ridiculous" because he has trademarks for the two brands.

"Pinterest seems to be trying to scare all companies off  by going in with the big guns and expensive lawyers," Thorn said. "They seem to think that they have the exclusive right to everything starting with 'pin,' which is absolutely ridiculous.

"There are companies registered 30 years before Pinterest with 'pin' in their name," he said.

Pinterest officials did not immediately respond to XBIZ for comment.

At post time it wasn't determined when a panel of WIPO arbitrators would hear the case.

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